NewsBites - February 2013

Complaints research
Only one in eight (13 per cent) of customers dissatisfied with the legal service they receive goes on to make a formal complaint, the Office of Fair Trading has reported.


The research was commissioned to see how the Legal Services Act 2007 has impacted on consumers. The low level of complaints was found to be largely due to uncertainty about how or where to complain and scepticism about whether complaining is worth the effort. The OFT said that the Legal Ombudsman system should be more actively promoted by all in the sector. The speed of authorising alternative business structures was also found to be slow and the OFT urged regulators to speed up the process.

First year of ABS licensing
In its first year of authorising and regulating alternative business structures (ABS), the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has granted 74 licences, with a further 19 close to completion. The SRA, approved as an ABS licensing authority by the Legal Services Board in December 2011, started accepting applications on 3 January 2012. Since then, 387 firms have started the application process, and 117 firms have completed the submission of all necessary information.

Court of Claims exhibition
An exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of the last meeting of the Court of Claims, an ancient court set up to hear petitions from those who believe they have the right to perform a particular honorific service for a new monarch on their coronation day, has opened. It will run in the café area of the Supreme Court on Parliament Square until the spring.

LETR report delayed
Publication of the Legal Education and Training Review report has been delayed, “given the weight of evidence and consideration of the importance and complexity of the review”. The most substantial review of legal education and training since the Ormrod Report in 1971, the review began in June 2011 and was due to report in December last year.

Category: