Data and decisions

We set ourselves high performance standards at the start of each year, which we report on as part of a commitment to continuous improvement.

In addition, we publish complaints data to ensure our work is transparent while using business intelligence to help raise standards across the legal sector.

Ombudsman decision data

Our Board, (the Office for Legal Complaints) is empowered to publish information on ombudsman decisions by the Legal Services Act 2007. Our Board has instructed the Legal Ombudsman to do this on its website. The information we publish is a simple and transparent record of decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman.

This approach is consistent with government policy which requires organisations such as ours to publish information of this type. It is also consistent with the approach taken by other Ombudsman schemes.

The data is published in accordance with our Publishing Decisions policy.

This policy statement summarises how we approach the publication of decisions, how we will use this information to raise standards and how we will monitor and review the publishing decisions policy.

Publishing Decisions policy statement

 

This data displays details of legal service providers that have received an ombudsman’s decision made between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.

View datatable View decisions data file (.csv)

This data displays details of claims management companies that have received an ombudsman’s decision made between 28 January 2015 to 31 March 2016.

View datatable View decisions data file (.csv)

Public interest cases

This is where you’ll find detailed reports on cases where there has been a pattern of complaints or set of individual circumstances that have resulted in an ombudsman decision(s) that indicate it is in the public interest that the service provider should be named.

Our Board decided to publish the names of these service providers following extensive consultation.

Please note that this data is from the Legal ombudsman records only. To find out more about service providers you will need to approach them directly or contact the relevant approved regulator.

Case summaries

Our performance - KPIs 2015 - 2016

Key performance indicators are quantifiable measures and targets that we use to demonstrate how effectively we are working, which ensure we are providing a high quality service to all our customers.

We publish our key performance indicators (KPI) on a quarterly and yearly basis. The five areas that our performance will be measured against are:

  • Timeliness
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Impact

Please click on the tabs below to view an overview of information about each of our KPIs.

Strategic objective: Resolve complaints quickly and with minimum formality

We aim to resolve cases as quickly and fairly as possible. We measure the time taken from when a complainant agrees with us on the nature of the complaint to the point at which we resolve it.

The time it takes to resolve a complaint depends to a large extent on the parties to the complaint. If a case can be resolved informally, it tends to take less time than if a longer investigation or an ombudsman’s decision is required.

We aim to improve the speed with which we resolve cases and have set ourselves a challenging target.

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Target Actual Target Actual Target Actual
Cases resolved within 56 days 37% 38% 40% 34%
Resolve 60% of cases within 90 days 55% 57% 60% 67% 70% 65%
Resolve 90% of cases within 180 days 80% 93% 90% 94% 95% 93%
Resolve 100% of cases within 365 days 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

 

Our target for 2015/16 is to continue to improve so that by March 2016 we will be regularly:

  • Resolving 40% of cases within 56 days
  • Resolving 70% of cases within 90 days
  • Resolving 95% of cases within 180 days
  • Resolving 100% of cases within 365 days

We start counting the Timeliness KPI from the point at which we agree with the complainant what the complaint is about and that it is something we can help with. Because of the way we measure this KPI the data about our performance will only be available 56, 90, 180 and 365 days after the end of the month in which the complaint was agreed.

The Timeliness KPI is to achieve our target for every month, not just on average across the year, so we report on this on a monthly basis. We report the last available result by the month in which each measure is first complete. (for example: April’s 90 day target shows the percentage of cases resolved that were accepted in January – i.e. 90 days previously. April’s 180 day target shows the percentage of cases resolved that were accepted in September i.e. 180 days previously, and April’s 365 day target shows the percentage of cases resolved that were accepted the previous April – i.e. 365 days previously.)

KPI 2015 – 16
Apr May June Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Resolve 40% of cases within 56 days 35% 36% 30% 29% 32% 33% 28% 33% 33%
Resolve 70% of cases within 90 days 59% 57% 59% 51% 48% 49% 48% 49% 56%
Resolve 95% of cases within 180 days 91% 94% 93% 91% 93% 91% 88% 89% 89%
Resolve 100% of cases within 365 days 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Strategic objective: Offer a professional, high quality service that responds to the needs of individual customers

We are committed to improving the quality and consistency of our work. As part of that work we regularly gather our customers’ feedback about the service we provide. This information is obtained through an independent customer satisfaction survey conducted by ICM on a quarterly basis. Satisfaction with service is so largely influenced by customers’ satisfaction with the outcome of their case that we report the KPI separately for those who were satisfied with their outcome and those who were not satisfied with their outcome.

Satisfaction with service
Avg 2013/14 Cases closed
Oct – Dec 2014
Cases closed
Jan – March 2015
Cases closed
Apr – June 2015
Cases closed
Jul – Sept 2015
Complainant Lawyer Complainant Lawyer Complainant Lawyer Complainant Lawyer Complainant Lawyer
Of those satisfied with outcome, % satisfied with the service 96% 94% 95% 91% 96% 99% 97% 96% 95% 98%
Of those satisfied with outcome, % dissatisfied with the service 4% 6% 5% 2% 4% 1% 3% 4% 5% 2%
Of those dissatisfied with outcome, % satisfied with service 24% 30% 28% 41% 23% 34% 28% 48% 34% 62%
Of those dissatisfied with outcome, % dissatisfied with service 76% 64% 72% 59% 77% 66% 72% 52% 66% 38%

For complainants the main drivers for satisfaction in the last quarter were:

  • They had the opportunity to provide relevant evidence;
  • The complaint process was clearly explained;
  • They were contacted when agreed; and
  • They had the opportunity to have their say.

For lawyers the main drivers for satisfaction in the last quarter were:

  • They had the opportunity to provide relevant evidence;
  • They had the opportunity to have their say;
  • They were given a good sense of what to expect;
  • They were contacted when agreed; and
  • They were confident that the investigator could handle the complaint.

When it came to dissatisfaction, the main driver for both parties was when they felt they did not achieve the outcome they wanted, which was the same as in the previous quarters. This aside, the main drivers for complainants’ dissatisfaction were:

  • They believed the investigation wasn’t impartial enough;
  • The investigator did not explain things clearly on the telephone; and
  • They didn’t have confidence that the investigator could handle the complaint.

For lawyers the main drivers for dissatisfaction were:

  • The investigator did not explain things clearly on the telephone;
  • They believed the complaint process was not clearly explained; and
  • They felt the investigator did not understand the nature of the complaint.

Strategic objective: Provide a value for money service that uses best practice from other ombudsman schemes

Our cost KPI includes two aspects: the unit cost is the annual cost of the whole organisation divided by the number of cases we resolve. Our target unit cost for the financial year 2015/16 is £1,750. The unit cost per case depends on how many complaints we receive and so is outside our control to some extent. We’re also committed to contain our overall expenditure levels within the agreed annual budget.

Period Total Cost Cases resolved Unit Cost
Year ending 31 March 2016 £11,646 £6,445 £1,807
April – December 2015 £8,584 £4,778 £1,797
April – September 2015 £5,821 £3,120 £1,866
Year ending 31 March 2015 £12,764 £7,440 £1,716

Strategic objective: Build credibility and openly share best practice with stakeholders

During 2012 / 2013 we began receiving and publishing the results of an independent survey of satisfaction levels among our customers (consumers and lawyers). This survey includes an indicator for how many of those who have had contact with us would recommend us to others. It also includes an indicator for how well we worked with our stakeholders.

We will publish the results of this survey on an annual basis.

We will provide two measures of our reputation and this information is derived from consumer and lawyer satisfaction levels based on their responses to the following questions:

Advocacy: % of respondents who are satisfied with the outcome of their case and would speak highly of LeO without being asked / if asked.

Source: As part of our customer satisfaction survey we ask:
Which of these statements comes closest to how you feel about the Legal Ombudsman?

  • I would speak highly of the Legal Ombudsman without being asked
  • I would speak highly of the Legal Ombudsman if asked
  • I would be neutral when speaking about the Legal Ombudsman
  • I would be critical of the Legal Ombudsman if asked
  • I would be critical of the Legal Ombudsman without being asked
Reputation Indicator 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Percentage of respondents who are satisfied with the outcome of their case and would speak highly of LeO without being asked / if asked. Complainants: 93%
Lawyers: 60%
Complainants: 93%
Lawyers: 60%
Complainants: 85%
Lawyers: 53%

 

Stakeholder satisfaction: % of stakeholders satisfied with overall level of engagement.

2012-2013: 85%
2013-2014: 90%
2014-2015: 92%

Strategic objective: Seek to promote the regulatory objectives of the Legal Services Act 2007 in such a way as is compatible with our primary role

We know that, while the strategic objectives support our primary role of running an exemplary ombudsman scheme, we also have the broader responsibility of contributing towards achieving all of the eight regulatory objectives of the Legal Services Act. We therefore do work that goes beyond (but does not conflict with) our primary role. For example, work we do with other ombudsmen schemes or regulators to help consumers access redress goes towards helping us to meet the regulatory objectives of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers and improving access to justice.

Impact links closely to reputation, looking at the effectiveness of our efforts to feedback knowledge and learning to the profession and consumers. This KPI has been designed to measure the effectiveness of the effort we put in to a range of initiatives, including:

  • Providing feedback and evidence from our complaint handling;
  • Publishing decisions and statistics;
  • Informing wider policy debates;
  • Raising awareness; and
  • Building confidence among the general public to contribute to regulatory objectives in the Act.

We will publish the results of this survey on an annual basis.

This information is derived from responses to the following questions:
Stakeholder confidence: % of stakeholders who have confidence in our delivery against our mission.

Source: As part of our annual stakeholder survey we ask:
‘How confident are you that the Legal Ombudsman is delivering against its mission?’

Reputation Indicator: Percentage of stakeholders who have confidence in our delivery against our mission.

2012-2013: 56%
2013-2014: 59%
2014-2015: 65%

 

Awareness: % of users of legal services in the last two years that have heard of the Legal Ombudsman

Source: As part of our annual awareness survey we ask:
‘Have you personally used and paid for a legal service in the past 2 years?’
‘Before today, had you heard of the Legal Ombudsman?’

Reputation Indicator: Percentage of users of legal services in the last two years that have heard of the Legal Ombudsman

2012-2013: 78%
2013-2014: 78%
2014-2015: 77%

Prompt payment performance

From April 2015, the Government’s Prompt Payment Policy requires departments to publicise, on a quarterly basis, the percentage of their invoices that have been paid within 5 and 30 days respectively.

From April 2016, it will also be a requirement that departments publish figures of all liable interest under the late payment legislation.

Financial year 2015/2016 Percentage of invoices paid within 5 days Percentage of invoices paid within 30 days Total amount of liable to pay (from April 2016)
Quarter 1 15% 91%
Quarter 2 12% 90%
Quarter 3 22% 92%
Quarter 4 20% 96% 0

Complaints data 2014-15

In this section you will find some data about complaints we have handled from 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015. We collate and publish complaints data on an annual basis. The data is split into the categories listed below:

  • Who complained to us?
  • Which people or organisations made a complaint?
  • Who was complained about?
  • What were the complaints about by area of law?
  • What were the areas of law by regulator?
  • What were the complaints about?
  • What were the complaints about by regulator?
  • What was the remedy type?
  • What was the resolution method?

Click on the tabs below to view the data as graphs.

Please note: Certain historic data will be updated for cases which may be reopened for further investigation and reclosed at a later date. We do not restate previous quarter’s data to reflect this as the effect of this is not significant. We have updated our Case Management Systems during the 2013/14 period so the results are not directly comparable with previous publications. Where nets and other results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to multiple responses, computer rounding or the exclusion of don’t knows/not stated.

Who complained to us?

Under the Equality Act 2010, we are required to collate data about those individuals who have made a complaint. The data we collect is analysed to ensure that we do not have a negative effect on the different equality groups. We will report on this data on an annual basis. This data (shown below) is only for those individuals who provide this information to us so the sample size is smaller.

The graphs below show who has made a complaint by ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation and impairment.

Click here for the CSV version of this data, (document opens in a new window).


Which people or organisations made a complaint?

The graph below shows who has made a complaint, for example a trustee, beneficiary or member of the public. These categories are set out in the Legal Services Act 2007.

Please hold your cursor over the graph to view the quarterly breakdown for each sector.

Click here for the CSV version of this data, (document opens in a new window).

Who was complained about?

The complaints we investigate are about a variety of lawyers who each have their own regulator; for example the Bar Standards Board, Solicitors Regulation Authority or Council for Licensed Conveyancers. The graph below shows the percentage of complaints we have received about lawyers under each regulator where we have received a complaint.

Click here for the CSV version of this data. (document opens in a new window).

What were the complaints about by area of law?

The pie chart below shows what the complaints we received were about by area of law; for example, whether people complained to the Legal Ombudsman about a family law issue, a personal injury matter or about a will.

You can see a quarterly breakdown for each sector in the CSV file.

Click here for the CSV version of the data, (document opens in a new window).

What were the areas of law by regulator?

The table shows the number of complaints we received by area of law and regulator type, for example, whether people complained to the Legal Ombudsman about a family law issue, a personal injury matter or about a will.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What were the complaints about?

The table shows what the complaints were about by area of law, for example excessive costs or failure to advise. Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What were the complaints about by regulator?

The table shows what the complaints were about by regulator type, for example excessive costs or failure to advise.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What was the remedy type?

A remedy is what an ombudsman may tell a lawyer or law firm to do if they decide that they haven’t handled the original complaint in a satisfactory manner. Remedies can include the ombudsman giving instructions to issue an apology, give back documents, do more work to put things right, refund or reduce legal fees, or pay compensation.

The table shows the method of resolving complaints. For example, the ombudsman can instruct the lawyer or law firm to apologise to the person who complained, put things right, pay compensation or put things in place to make sure the problem does not happen again.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What was the resolution method?

The table shows the resolution method by area of law. It shows how we resolved complaints; for example, if complaints were closed*, if they were resolved informally or went through to an ombudsman decision.

*Closed cases include:

• Complaints that were withdrawn by the person who complained
• The person that complained did not make any further contact despite our follow up
• Complaints which are closed under our scheme rules. Our scheme rules set out the framework for how we resolve complaints about legal services.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

How do we put things right?

We prefer to resolve complaints by brokering an agreement between the lawyer and the complainant. Therefore, our investigators attempt to settle complaints as amicably as they can, while bringing both parties (both the lawyer and the client) to a swift and mutually beneficial resolution. We call this “informal resolution”.

Where an informal resolution cannot be reached, either party may ask an ombudsman to make a final decision. At this stage the resolution will be based less on resolving the complaint amicably and more on what is deemed fair and reasonable.

We resolved 31% of complaints informally in 2014-14 compared to 39% in the previous year, while the number of resolutions reached by ombudsman decision has increased to 41% compared to 38% previously.

This is not the outcome we had hoped for, but as we have said in previous Annual Reports, the complexity of legal complaints means that often people want to exhaust all options before accepting a decision.

In the majority of cases it is the complainant who requests a decision by an ombudsman. This is consistent with some evidence from other ombudsman schemes that there has been an increase in complainants’ propensity to pursue their complaints as far as possible. It may also reflect an increase in the number of lawyers offering reasonable remedies at the first tier which, if true, is a positive development. Nevertheless, we will continue to work at brokering more informal resolutions moving forward.

In our view, these figures suggest that complainants do as well when accepting an investigator’s recommendation and opt for an informal resolution as they do when insisting on an ombudsman’s decision. While lawyers might be tempted to hold out for an ombudsman decision, they should factor in the additional time and resource they will have to put into managing the complaint and accept that the customer is likely to walk away feeling even less positive about their firm with the increased risk to their reputation that this entails.

This year:

  • 24.2% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of up to £299.
  • 9.1% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of between £300 and £999.
  • 3% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of between £1000 and £4,999.
  • 1.1% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy of between £5,000 and £19,999.
  • 0.4% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy of £20,000 or more.

Please note: Certain historic data will be updated for cases which maybe reopened for further investigation and reclosed at a later date. As a result the total of each quarter may not match the total.

View previous years data
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