Area of law: Employment
Complaint reason(s): Failure to keep informed, failure to advise, failure to follow instructions
Remedy: To apologise
Outcome: Ombudsman decision rejected by complainant
Mrs P was referred to the firm by her union after she was made redundant. She felt her employer had unfairly dismissed her, and wanted help to bring them to justice.
The case moved on steadily, but Mrs P started asking the firm for further information about other issues, not related to her claim. The firm said they couldn’t help her with these other problems, but Mrs P was left bemused as to why.
Mrs P lost her first tribunal, and so went back to the firm for advice about appealing this decision. The firm explained that there were very high thresholds required for overturning a decision, and said they would need to speak to a barrister. After speaking to the barrister, they decided that the appeal did not have enough chance of success, and therefore they stopped acting for her.
Mrs P complained to us, having raised numerous complaints with the firm, as she though they had made a bit of a mess of her case. She didn’t think they had contacted all the witnesses she had provided, and they hadn’t given her enough advice.
We felt that for the most part, the firm had acted reasonably during Mrs P’s case. However, we did feel that in relation to the witnesses, the firm could have provided more explanation to Mrs P as to why they picked who they did. We also felt that the firm should have made it clear if there were issues where they could not advise her.
As we felt that the firm had fallen below a reasonable standard of service in several areas, we decided that an apology was owed to Mrs P. Unfortunately Mrs P didn’t feel that this was enough and rejected our decision.