Helping the public

Our job is to look at complaints about service providers in a fair and independent way; we will not take sides.

These pages are designed to help you understand more about how we work; and what you can do to address complaints before they come to us.

What problems can we help resolve?

We can investigate lots of different types of legal service issues. For instance, if you’ve had poor service when: you bought or sold a house; made a personal injury claim; or tried to sort out a family issue.

What is a service provider?

We can look into complaints about all sorts of regulated legal service providers: solicitors; barristers; licensed conveyancers; cost lawyers; legal executives; notaries; patent attorneys; trade mark attorneys; law firms and companies providing legal services such as claims management companies.

Did your service provider tell you about us?

Regulated legal service providers should tell you about our scheme when they take on your case, and again if you make a complaint to them. This is written in their regulatory code of conduct.

When can’t we help?

We are unable to: provide legal advice or represent you in legal proceedings; recommend service providers or check whether a service provider is regulated; investigate complaints where you are complaining about someone else’s service provider.

What sort of company is your complaint about?

Use this handy tool to work out which provider your problem is with:

Claims management companies

A claims management company is a business that offers claims management services to the public. Services consist of advice or services in respect of claims for compensation, repayment or any other remedy for loss or damage, or in respect of some other obligation.

Download our complaint form View our factsheets

Find out more

Legal service providers

Regulated legal service providers offer a broad range of services. These include help with buying a house, family matters, wills and probate issues, and personal injury among many others.

Download our complaint form View our factsheets

Find out more

Detailed information on how our scheme works

Our scheme rules are approved by the Legal Services Board and the Lord Chancellor as required by the Legal Services Act 2007.

The rules set out the framework for how the Legal Ombudsman resolves complaints about legal services.

You can download the scheme rules as a pdf if you click on the link below.

Scheme rules (pdf – opens in new window)

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