Adam Sampson

Adam Sampson

Adam is the Chief Legal Ombudsman.

Articles by this author

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Legal Ombudsman

How can direct access barristers avoid adverse rulings by the Legal Ombudsman? Adam Sampson reports.

In February, the Administrative Court quashed a decision of the Ombudsman on the complaint of a client that a barrister had provided a “poor service” and remitted the matter for further consideration in the light of his judgment. It was the first successful judicial review against our scheme since we began to deal with cases over three years ago.

02 September 2014

Legal Ombudsman

Adam Sampson explains the business case for good complaint handling...Not just because the regulatory rule book tells you to.

Common sense tells me that taking complaints seriously, and striving for reconciliation when clients are unhappy with a service, is good for reputation. We are all consumers in one way or another, so we know that when, for instance, our energy provider tries to diddle us with a bill written in hieroglyphics, we will probably tell our friends and family to steer clear of them. That is, of course, unless they attempt to put their mistake right when we raise the issue.


23 February 2014
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Legal Ombudsman - September 2012

sept-legalombudsmanBarristers in the new legal landscape must ensure they provide clients with clear advice on pricing and funding options and a clear route to redress, says Chief Legal Ombudsman, Adam Sampson

The vernacular in legal circles has referred to a “changing” legal sector so often in recent times that the phrase has inevitably become somewhat hackneyed. Since the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA 2007) came into being, we’ve all been anticipating a big shift, one that would send us towards a full-blown commercially driven legal sector.

31 August 2012
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Legal Ombudsman - May 2012

Chief Legal Ombudsman, Adam Sampson, provides guidance on how barristers can best avoid complaints about costs.

You’ll have heard a lot about new financial models for barristers. The topic seems to be the common theme of most journals at the moment. The thrust of it all I agree with; a decent standard of financial literacy seems fundamental to making sure the legal profession keeps pace with its more commercially minded cousins, especially if, as we are all regularly told, consumers are expecting more and becoming increasingly savvy.

30 April 2012
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Legal Ombudsman - November 2011

Adam Sampson, Chief Legal Ombudsman, looks at the impact of Alternative Business Structures on the Bar itself and its reputation, and at whether it is ever appropriate to name a lawyer involved in a complaint.

I know from the barristers I talk to that the term “Alternative Business Structures” is not exactly on the tip of every counsel’s tongue. So few of you I suspect have been following the fall-out from the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s recent announcement that the October deadline for their launch was not going to be met. But as with many of the changes the profession is facing, what is happening in one area of the profession potentially has major implications for their colleagues elsewhere.

31 October 2011
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Legal Ombudsman - August 2011

Adam Sampson, Chief Legal Ombudsman, discusses setting up the Legal Ombudsman scheme and the issues arising when familiarising 300 new staff members with the “inns” and outs of the Bar.

One of the difficulties in setting up the new Legal Ombudsman scheme has been to try to make sure that all of our 300 staff - all recently recruited, and mostly from outside the legal profession - have a good grasp of the nuances of the legal world.

31 July 2011
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Legal Ombudsman - June 2011

Adam Sampson Chief Legal Ombudsman gives us his thoughts on Silks, barristers’ financial management issues and some of his current cases…

Touring one or two of the Silks’ parties over the past few days left me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, it is nice to see talent recognised. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Silk system, it does at least provide a mechanism by which years of dedication and hard work is honoured.

31 May 2011
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Legal Complaints

Adam Sampson reviews the first few months of operation of the Legal Ombudsman, the new scheme which handles all consumer legal complaints. Although it is too early to predict any trends, the number of complaints made about individual barristers was very low, he says.

The run-up to the launch of the new Legal Ombudsman (“LeO”) on 6 October 2010 (only six months ago but it feels longer) was a time of high interest and high excitement. The arrival of a lay body to replace a system of complaints handling owned and operated by lawyers themselves attracted a surprising level of media attention, including interviews on the Today Programme, Breakfast News and The One Show. Behind the scenes, recruiting, training and deploying some 300 staff largely new to handling complaints in the legal arena was a major challenge, to say nothing of sourcing and fitting out a building and designing and implementing a state-of-the-art IT system. All adrenaline; all attention.

10 March 2011
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Justice at the polls

The Chair of the Bar launches a Manifesto for Justice as campaigning gets under way

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