09 February 2015

Legal Ombudsman, complaints about will and probate services, and the unregulated sector


Paul Hewitt
Partner | UK

The Legal Ombudsman published its latest Annual Report on 29 January 2015. It reports that it resolved 8,055 cases in the year 2013-2014. Of these, 13% related to Wills and Probate – the third largest category after Residential Conveyancing and Family. The percentage remains unchanged from 2012-2013.

At present, the Legal Ombudsman is only able to deal with complaints about regulated legal providers, such as solicitors, barristers or chartered legal executives. The Report comments on a case study where an unregulated will-drafting firm provided an inadequate service to a client, including losing a family heirloom. The client was unable to receive compensation as no ombudsman scheme is in place.

The Report highlights the Legal Ombudsman’s commitment to develop a single professional services ombudsman. Frustratingly it says nothing about the limitation on assistance to the third sector – charities with an annual income of a £1 million (see link) are excluded from redress through the Ombudsman.

The Report can be found here

Category: Article