Our job is not to decide whether what happened amounted to professional negligence or if there has been a ‘legal wrong’, such as breach of trust. We don’t provide legal advice and normally we can’t comment on the quality of service providers’ legal advice either. Our job is to consider the level of customer service from the service provider. The question for us is not whether they were negligent but whether the level of service they provided was acceptable and, if it wasn’t, what the consequences were for you. Clearly, if something a service provider has done (or not done) looks like negligence it is also likely to be poor service.
Coming to the Legal Ombudsman OR taking legal action for negligence are sometimes both remedies that could be pursued if something has gone wrong. Both options might be open to a consumer where the same set of circumstances and facts apply and the consumer must choose which of them to pursue.
We would not normally look at a complaint where the consumer was suing the service provider for negligence or where the court’s decision had dealt with the same circumstances as the complaint to us. On the other hand, if you bring a complaint to us and accept our decision you cannot then bring a court case against the service provider about the same set of circumstances.