The Legal Ombudsman has greater powers than the BSB to resolve client service issues which include statutory powers to order payment of compensation/return of fees of up to £30,000, enforcement of orders through the High Court and the imposition on barristers of fees for handling complaints. From 6 October 2010, barristers will be obliged under the Code of Conduct to co-operate with the Legal Ombudsman and failure to do so could result in disciplinary action by the BSB. Further, the Legal Ombudsman will require that client
service complaints are considered first by the barrister’s chambers before referral to the Legal Ombudsman. It is therefore important that all barristers and Chambers ensure they have complaints procedures in place that meet the requirements of Annex S of the Code of Conduct.
If you require any further information about the Legal Ombudsman and the new regime for dealing with service complaints, please contact: