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Is it worth complaining to legal ombudsman?

(7 Posts)
Willow33 Sun 30-Oct-16 18:41:24

When we bought a flat a few months ago, we received a terrible service from our solicitor. He would not talk to us when we went in to see, would not answer calls, didn't tell us he was going on holiday and then didn't inform any other solicitors in his firm about our case. I had to pay £300 to another sister firm to help get our purchase through. Further I had to query many points on our bill which he did eventually back track on.
My aim in complaining is to get compensation for having to go to another firm to get them to complete the sale.
I have heard mixed things about the legal ombudsman though. I haven't complained to the actual solicitor yet, which I know is the first step but I want to go into this with my eyes open.
I have heard that the ombudsman isn't that great really so not sure what to do.

LIZS Sun 30-Oct-16 18:43:07

You need to speak to the managing partner first.

Willow33 Sun 30-Oct-16 18:49:21

My solicitor is the managing partner.

unleashingtheflyingmonkeys Sun 30-Oct-16 18:57:34

The legal ombudsmans wont accept a complaint from you until you have completely exhausted the complaints process with the solicitors. You should have a copy of their complaints process in their client care letter.

If unsatisfied you can take it to the legal ombudsman once you have haad a final response to the complaint, or six weeks have passed since you made the original complaint, whichever occurs sooner. If you look on their website they have complaint template letters you can use.

Raise all issues with them in this formal complaint, you cannot bring new issues up at a later date as it wont be considered. Give them the opportunity first. The Legal Ombudsman charges the firm £500 for every complaint they receive/accept about them whereas its free at the point of use for individuals. This may motivate the firm further to sort things out. They have a range of powers, and work with the solicitors regulation authority to report serious matters of misconduct.

The Legal Ombudsman have a form you can complete and if you send a copy of the complaint you made, and all of the responses they can take if from there. I know you have heard bad things, but it really is taken on a case by case basis. They are impartial and I have found most firms bend over backwards to co-operate with them.

unleashingtheflyingmonkeys Sun 30-Oct-16 19:02:17

The firm should list how to complain and who to in their complaints procedure. If they haven't it is usually available on their website, if not ask for a copy. If you are not happy with your solicitor handling the complaint you can ask for another solicitor to review it, and there will may be stages to the process. Most firms will ask another member of staff not involved to look at it initially.

It is worth noting, that if you accept a resolution to this complaint (like a monetary goodwill gesture) you cannot then take it to the Legal Ombudsman if you decide you are not happy with it. Only take It further if you remain unsatisfied.

Willow33 Sun 30-Oct-16 19:21:21

Thank you unleashing
Is it worth complaining though? Does anyone know if the process is likely to be successful?

eternalopt Tue 01-Nov-16 07:25:26

Well, it's free for you and it causes them a load of aggravation, so I'd say that's successful regardless of whether you get any compensation! I've seen them go both ways though obviously. None of us can answer what your chances are without the whole file.

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