Signposting

The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales was set up by the Office for Legal Complaints (our Board) under the Legal Services Act 2007.

Our job is to look at complaints about legal service providers and claims management companies in a fair and independent way: we will not take sides and are unable to provide legal advice.

You can find all the help and info you need about making a complaint here.

If the Legal Ombudsman is unable to investigate your complaint, there are a number of other organisations who may be able to assist or offer advice, depending on the circumstances. Click the tabs below to see further information about these organisations.

 

Organisations that maybe able to help

Approved regulators – we are able to accept complaints about service providers who are covered by a number of different regulators. Please see below for a full list.

Name Organisation remit Telephone number Website
Bar Standards Board Regulatory body for barristers in England and Wales. 020 7611 1444 www.barstandardsboard.org.uk
Claims Management Regulation Regulatory body for claims management companies 0845 450 6858 or 01283 233 309 www.claimsregulation.gov.uk
Costs Lawyer Standards Board Regulator for Costs Lawyers. No details found www.costslawyer.co.uk/?q=rules
Council for Licensed Conveyancers Regulatory body for licensed conveyancers in England and Wales. 0207 250 8465
clc@clc-uk.org
www.clc-uk.org
Faculty Office Regulatory body for notary publics in England and Wales. They will only investigate complaints about notaries who are not members of The Notaries Society. If the notary is a member of the Notaries Society then please look at the contact details for the Notaries Society. 020 7222 5381 www.facultyoffice.org.uk
Intellectual Property Regulation Board Regulatory body for intellectual property lawyers. 020 7353 4373 www.ipreg.org.uk
CILEx Regulation Regulatory body for Legal Executives. 01234 845 770 www.cilexregulation.org.uk
Solicitors Regulation Authority Regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales.

The SRA has an area of their website dedicated to how to claim back unpaid professional fees.

Contact centre – 0370 606 2555 inside the UK
International callers +44 (0) 121 329 6800
Ethics helpline- 0370 606 2577
0845 850 0999 (Fraud and confidential intelligence bureau).
www.sra.org.uk

 

Regulators – if you have concerns about the professional conduct of a service provider (instead of a complaint about the service they provided to you directly), or about the conduct of someone who didn’t act for you, you may be able to raise this with the service provider’s regulatory body.

 

Name Organisation remit Telephone number Website
Association of Residential Letting Agents Regulator for letting agents in the UK. 0844 387 0555 www.arla.co.uk
Financial Conduct Authority Regulate the financial services industry in the UK. 0800 111 6768 www.fca.org.uk
General Dental Council Professional and regulatory body for dental professionals in the UK. 0845 222 4141
020 7887 3800
www.gdc-uk.org
General Medical Council Professional and regulatory body for medical professionals in the UK. 0161 923 6602 www.gmc-uk.org
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Deals with the administration and regulation of MP’s expenses. Details of their internal complaints procedure is contained on their website. 020 7811 6400 www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk
Insolvency Practitioners Association Professional and regulatory body for authorised insolvency practitioners. 0300 678 0015 www.insolvency-practitioners.org.uk
Institute of Professional Willwriters The Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) was founded in 1991 as a self-regulatory body to safeguard the public from unqualified practitioners and unethical business practices and has become established as the recognised professional body regulating and promoting the profession of Willwriting in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 0345 257 2570 www.ipw.org.uk
Law Society of Ireland Professional body, regulator and complaint handler for solicitors in the Republic of Ireland 353 1 672 4800 (general)
353 1 879 8700 (regulation)
www.lawsociety.ie
Law Society of Northern Ireland Professional body, complaint handler and regulator for solicitors in Northern Ireland. 028 9023 1614 www.lawsoc-ni.org
Law Society of Scotland Professional body and regulator for solicitors in Scotland. 0131 226 7411 (general)
0131 479 8124 (professional practice)
0131 476 8195 (interventions)
0131 476 8168 (complaints investigation)
www.lawscot.org.uk
National Association of Estate Agents Professional and regulatory body for estate agents in the UK. 0844 387 0555 (complaints) www.naea.co.uk
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner Regulatory body for those providing immigration advice to members of the public. 0845 000 0046 www.oisc.homeoffice.gov.uk/
PhonepayPlus Regulatory body for premium rate services; can provide advice about premium rate services and investigate reports of unexpected premium rate charges. 0300 30 300 20 Phone Pay Plus
Professional Negligence Lawyers Association Has a list of lawyers specialising in professional negligence claims. Note – they will charge for their work. 0117 905 5316 www.pnla.org.uk
Prudential Regulation Authority Part of the Bank of England, responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It makes an important contribution to the bank’s core purpose of protecting and enhancing the stability of the UK financial system. www.bankofengland.co.uk
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Professional and regulatory body for surveyors in the UK. 0870 333 1600 (general enquiries) or
020 7695 1670 (complaints)
www.rics.org
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) Professional body for practitioners in the field of trusts and estates. 020 3752 3700 www.step.org
Society of Will Writers Self regulating organisation for will writers. Only regulates members and all members are required to carry professional indemnity insurance. 01522 687 888 www.thesocietyofwillwriters.co.uk

 

Legal advice – there are a number of organisations which may be able to provide you with legal advice or assistance.

Name Organisation remit Telephone number Website
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Promotes best practice in the workplace and helps to resolve disputes between individuals and groups of workers and their employers. 08457 47 47 47 www.acas.org.uk
Citizens Advice Bureaux Provides free legal and general advice. local telephone book www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Civil Legal Advice (formerly Community Legal Advice) Provides free legal advice for those entitled to legal aid. 0345 345 4345 www.legaladviserfinder.justice.gov.uk
Law Centres Federation Law Centres are not for profit legal practices providing free legal advice and representation to disadvantaged people. Check website for  the contact details of a local office. www.lawcentres.org.uk
LawWorks (Solicitors Pro Bono) A charity providing free legal help to individuals and community groups who cannot afford to pay for it and who are unable to access legal aid.
Please note that LawWorks no longer run a helpline for members of the public. Enquiries should be referred to their websitewww.lawworks.org.uk for information about how to access pro bono legal advice from the LawWorks Clinics Network.
n/a www.lawworks.org.uk
National Debt line Helpline providing free advice on how to deal with debt problems. 0808 808 4000 www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Other ombudsman/complaints handling schemes – there are a number of different ombudsman/complaint handling schemes, who consider complaints across a wide variety of areas. If the Legal Ombudsman is unable to assist with your complaint, it may be the case that another ombudsman scheme may be able to assist.

Name Organisation remit Telephone number Website
Consumer Ombudsman Anyone who has a complaint about goods or services in any sector not already served by an ombudsman can use the Consumer Ombudsman. 0333 300 1620 www.consumer-ombudsman.org/
Credit Services Association (CSA) Professional body for some debt collection agents. They can make a complaint to this organisation if they want to complain about they way they have been chased for a debt but only if the debt agency is a member of this body. 0191 217 0775 www.csaconsumers-uk.com
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Complaint handling organisation for complaints between consumers and businesses providing financial services. 0800 023 4567 (free for calls from a ‘fixed line’) or 0300 123 9 123 (free for mobile users paying monthly for calls to numbers starting 01 or 02) www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Furniture Ombudsman Deals with disputes between consumers and retailers in furniture, home improvement and floor coverings industries). 0845 653 2064 Furniture Ombudsman
Housing Ombudsman Service Deals with disputes between landlords and tenants. 0300 111 3000 Housing Ombudsman
Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) Investigates complaints about the police and police investigations in England and Wales. However before signposting to the IOPC consideration should be given to advising callers to visit their local police station who they have expressed dissatisfaction with and advising them to speak to either the duty sergeant or the duty inspector. They can make a complaint directly to either of those two people who will investigate and if necessary pass the matter to professional standards. Only once they have completed this should they go to the IOPC. 0300 020 0096 https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/
Judicial Conduct Investigations Office The Office of Judicial Complaints was taken over by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office on 1 October 2013. 

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office cannot investigate complaints about magistrates, tribunal judges or court staff. Find out more about what they can and cannot investigate here -http://judicialconduct.judiciary.gov.uk/what-complain-about.htm

A complaint to the JCIO must be made in writing. There are a number of ways to do it;

Send the complaint by post to the Judicial Conduct and Investigations Office 81 – 82 Queens building, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand London, WC2A 2LL
Use the online complaint form on the website
http://judicialconduct.judiciary.gov.uk/making-a-complaint.htm
Email your complaint to mailto:inbox@jcio.gsi.gov.uk
Send the complaint by fax to 0207 073 4725.

0207 0734 719 Judicial Conduct Investigations Office
Law Society of Ireland Professional body, regulator and complaint handler for solicitors in the Republic of Ireland 353 1 672 4800 (general)
353 1 879 8700 (regulation)
www.lawsociety.ie
Law Society of Northern Ireland Professional body, complaint handler and regulator for solicitors in Northern Ireland. 028 9023 1614 www.lawsoc-ni.org
Lay Observer for Northern Ireland The Lay Observer receives and examines guidelines about the complaints process operated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and about the way the Client Complaints Committee in the Law Society handles complaints about solicitors. www.layobserverni.com/
Local Government Ombudsman Deals with complaints about local councils where the complainant has not been able to resolve the complaint with the local council involved. 0300 061 0614 www.lgo.org.uk
Motor Ombudsman The Motor Ombudsman is the UK’s government-backed, self-regulatory body for the motor industry. They help to find accredited garages and resolve motoring disputes. 

71 Great Peter Street
London
SW1P 2BN
0345 241 3008
consumer@tmo-uk.org

0345 241 3008 https://www.themotorombudsman.org/
Ombudsman services: Communications Investigates complaints about communications companies. 0330 440 1614 www.ombudsman-services.org
Ombudsman services: Copyright Licensing Investigates complaints about bodies that either own or administer, on behalf of third parties, the licensing of copyright materials. These are called Collective Management Organisations 0330 440 1614 www.ombudsman-services.org
Ombudsman services: Energy Investigates complaints about gas or electricity companies. 0330 440 1624 www.ombudsman-services.org
Ombudsman Services: Property Regulatory body for chartered surveying firms, surveyors, estate agents, residential managing agents, letting agents and other property professionals. They are only able to deal with complaints about companies who participate in their scheme. 0330 440 1634 or 01925 530 270 www.ombudsman-services.org
Ombudsman services: The Green Deal Investigates complaints about a Green Deal provider. Also covers complaints where seller or landlord of a house fails to disclose key information about a Green Deal Plan such as an Energy Performance Certificate. 0330 440 1614 www.ombudsman-services.org
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Organisation that considers complaints that government departments, a range of other public bodies in the UK, and the NHS in England, have not acted properly or fairly or have provided a poor service. 0345 015 4033 or text ‘call back’ to 07624 813 005 www.ombudsman.org.uk
Pensions Ombudsman Investigates complaints between members of pension schemes and the scheme administrators. 020 7630 2200 www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk
Prisons & Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales Investigates complaints from prisoners, those on probation and those in immigration removal centres. Those who have received a service from HM Prison Service, the UK Border Agency or the National Probation Service. 020 7633 4100 or 0845 010 7938 www.ppo.gov.uk
Property Ombudsman Formerly the Ombudsman for estate agents. The complaints handling organisation where members of the public want to make a complaint about their estate agent. 01722 333 306 www.tpos.co.uk
Removals Ombudsman Deals with disputes between consumers and removals companies). 020 8144 3790 Removals Ombudsman
Retail Ombudsman Deals with disputes between consumers, retailers and tradesmen. 020 3540 8063 The Retail Ombudsman
Scottish Legal Complaints Commission Complaints handling body for lawyers in Scotland. Tel: 0131 201 2130
Fax: 0131 201 2131
www.scottishlegalcomplaints.com
Society of Will Writers Self regulating organisation for will writers. Only regulates members and all members are required to carry professional indemnity insurance. 01522 687 888 www.thesocietyofwillwriters.co.uk
Waterways Ombudsman Investigates complaints about the Canal & River Trust and any of its subsidiaries). 0161 980 4858 Waterways Ombudsman

Other advice – If you have concerns about something which is not a legal issue, and require general advice and assistance, you may be able to obtain this through a number of different organisations.

Name Organisation remit Telephone number Website
Age UK (formerly Age Concern and Help the Aged) Charity aiming to improve later life for everyone through their information and advice, campaigns, products, training and research. 0800 169 6565 www.ageuk.org.uk
Child Maintenance Options Child Maintenance Options, provides free impartial information and support to help parents make informed choices about child maintenance. 0800 988 0988 Child Maintenance Options
Child Support Agency Ensuring that parents who live apart from their children contribute to their maintenance. 08457 133 133 www.csa.gov.uk
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) Safeguard and promote the welfare of children. 0300 456 4000 www.cafcass.gov.uk
Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) Debt advice 0800 138 1111 Callers can request a call back www.cccs.co.uk
Criminal Cases Review Commission Review possible miscarriages of justice in the UK. 0121 233 1473 www.ccrc.gov.uk/
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority The body responsible for administering the criminal injuries compensation scheme in England, Scotland and Wales. 0300 003 3601 Link direct to page of site
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Body responsible for prosecuting crimes in England and Wales. 020 3357 0899 (CPS Correspondence Unit)
01904 545 400 (York Head Office)
020 3357 0000 (London Head Office)
www.cps.gov.uk
Liberty (aka National Council for Civil Liberties) Campaign organisation for protecting rights and freedoms through the courts, parliament and the wider community. 020 7403 3888 or 0203 145 0460 www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk
MIND A mental health charity for England and Wales. 0300 123 3393 (info line)
0300 466 6463 (Legal advice line)
www.mind.org.uk
Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) Provides a central fund where victims of road traffic accidents can claim compensation where the driver of the vehicle was uninsured or is untraceable. 01908 830 001 www.mib.org.uk
National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) Provides advocacy services for children and young people in England and Wales who are subject to child care proceedings. 0800 61 61 01 (for children or young persons)
0151 649 8700 (for advice about a legal matter relating to a child or young person)
www.nyas.net
Rights of Women A voluntary women’s organisation committed to informing educating and empowering women concerning their legal rights. Does not provide legal advice but can signpost for free legal advice in different areas. 020 7251 6577 (general legal advice)
020 7251 8887 (sexual violence)
0207 490 7689 (immigration & asylum)
www.rightsofwomen.org.uk
Samaritans Confidential emotional support for people in the UK 08457 90 90 90 www.samritans.org
Telephone Preference Service Free opt out service enabling you to record your preference on the official register and not receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. 0845 070 0707 www.tpsonline.org.uk

Government bodies/organisations – there are a number of government agencies and bodies who may be able to assist with specific queries, depending on the nature of your concerns.

Name Organisation remit Telephone number Website
Equality and Human Rights Commission Promotes and monitors equality and human rights across the nine protected grounds. Phone: 0808 800 0082 

Textphone: 0808 800 0084

www.equalityhumanrights.com
Her Majesty’s Courts Service  (HMCS) Deals with the administration of justice in England and Wales, and provides the contact details of individual courts. See website for ‘Court Finder’ for contact detail of individual courts. Links directly to page on site
Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Deals with the payment of revenues and taxes due to the government. Various numbers for different departments. Can also check their local phone book for local tax office. To make a complaint they can contact
0845 300 3900 (tax credits)
0845 900 0444(self assessment)
0845 302 1479 (NI)
0845 302 1444 (child benefit) or
0845 010 9000 (VAT, Excise & Customs)
www.hmrc.gov.uk
HMRC – Stamp Taxes Helpline Provides advice on:
•stamp taxes payable on the purchase of land
•property and shares
•the leasing of land and property
0300 200 3510 HMRC – Stamp Taxes Helpline
Information Commissioner (ICO) The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. 0303 123 1113 www.ico.org.uk
Land Registry Deals with all issues of registered land in England and Wales. 0844 892 1111 www.landregistry.gov.uk
Legal Aid Agency Body that deals with the administration of legal aid. See website for eligibility information. 0300 200 2020 www.gov.uk/legal-aid
Ministry of Justice Provides an overview of the justice system in England and Wales. The website will provide links to a number of different organisations which come under the remit of the Ministry of Justice. 020 3334 3555 www.justice.gov.uk
Office of the Public Guardian Deals with registration of Powers of Attorneys and supervision of those appointed by the Court of Protection. 0300 456 0300 www.justice.gov.uk
Probate Service Part of the Family Division of the High Court. It deals with non-contentious probate and issues grants of probate or letters of administration. Use the ‘Court Finder’ service on the website to find the local  probate registry’s contact details. www.justice.gov.uk
Senior Courts Cost Office Provides a detailed assessment of costs. 020 7947 6000 www.justice.gov.uk
UK Border Agency Organisation responsible for controlling migration into the UK. www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk