Should I complain to the Legal Ombudsman or sue my solicitor for compensation?
We can help you answer this important and difficult question.
The role of the Legal Ombudsman is not entirely clear to many people, particularly in cases where a lawyer has been negligent.
Some problems are better dealt with through the Legal Ombudsman Scheme. For example, complaints about excessive legal costs or about poor service that has not had any serious consequences.
Factors to take into account when deciding what course of action to take include:
1 Most people who complain to the Legal Ombudsman have not suffered any financial loss or damage as a result of a solicitor’s poor service, whereas almost everyone who makes a negligence claim has.
2 Most awards by the Ombudsman are less than £1,000. Most negligence claims against solicitors are for more than £1,000, and usually are for much more: for example, we recently recovered over £20,000 for a client who was offered only £500 by the Legal Ombudsman.
3 Legal Ombudsman staff do not provide legal advice (they are not qualified lawyers) and they do not have duty to act in your best interests – they must remain impartial and therefore they do not take sides.
4 They are not qualified to assess whether your solicitor was negligent or how much your negligence claim is worth. Without legal education and qualifications, training and experience, Legal Ombudsman staff cannot properly advise whether legal advice was wrong or poor.
5 If you settle using the Ombudsman for less than the amount you would receive if you made a solicitors negligence claim, you will not be able to claim for more later on, as settlements are usually final.
If you have lost £1,000s as a result of poor legal service or advice, then you may be better instructing us to make a compensation claim on your behalf. We specialise exclusively in claims against solicitors.
Ultimately, deciding what course of action is best for you depends on your particular circumstances. You can speak to specialist solicitor now on 0121 270 5654. The confidential discussion is free and entirely without obligation. When the office is not open you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We offer a full range of funding options, including conditional fee agreements (also known as ‘no win, no fee’ and ’no win, low fee’), fixed fees, legal expenses insurance, damages based agreements, as well as the standard hourly rate retainer.