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News in Brief

LeO launches live chat

A new online service has been launched by The Legal Ombudsman to help make it easier for consumers to get advice on disputes with solicitors, conveyancers and other legal service providers.

Live Chat – where people send instant messages – aims to boost how people across England and Wales get in touch with the independent organisation and will be particularly useful for those unable to talk over the phone during the day.

The service is available via LeO's website and coincides with a three-year plan by LeO to improve the ease of consumers making and resolving complaints.

It follows on from the success of LeO using Live Chat to help people get advice and support on disputes with Claims Management Companies (CMCs).

LeO’s three year plan

The Legal Ombudsman has set out an ambitious three-year agenda that puts customer service principles at the heart of everything it does.
LeO’s Strategy and Business Plan for 2017-20 highlights its vision and how it aims to maximise the value that the independent and impartial scheme offers.

The aim of the strategy includes protecting consumers by helping to improve professional standards along with improving the delivery of its service.

LeO also is looking to provide a service recognised as excellent.

In a rapidly changing external context, the plan sets out how LeO will play its part in implementing the recommendations of the Competition and Markets Authority’s legal services market study.

Meanwhile, a root and branch review of business processes is driving a major programme of organisational change and IT system development.
The strategy signals a stronger external focus and emphasis on stakeholder engagement too. This will ensure that the scheme provides more effective feedback to the sectors.

Chief Legal Ombudsman Kathryn Stone and our senior ombudsmen are keen to attend and speak at events and conferences, so please let us know if there are any we can get involved with.

We also really want to hear from you about the service that we provide and what more you think we could do. We have an email for you to contact us at: feedback@legal.ombudsman.org.uk.

We are also looking to develop a new series of courses and webinars for the legal sector in the future. More information will be coming soon.

New board member

Photo of Rebecca Hilsenrath, OLC Board member

The Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has become a board member to the Legal Ombudsman.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, a non-lay member of the Office of Legal Complaints (OLC) – the board for LeO, got to see the organisation’s work first-hand when she visited its offices in Birmingham in June.

She has an extensive career in the legal profession, which saw her listed by The Times as being among the 100 most influential lawyers in the country in 2012. Rebecca is also the former CEO of national charity LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group).

LeO part of international legal conference

Chief Legal Ombudsman Kathryn Stone is to be a guest speaker at an international legal conference in Singapore later this year.

She will explain the process of legal complaints in England and Wales to an audience from across the world at the International Conference of Legal Regulators 2017 in October.

It is the first time the annual conference has been held in Asia and is being jointly organised by the Singapore Ministry of Law and the Law Society of Singapore.

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