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This section contains all the corporate information about the Legal Ombudsman and the Office for Legal Complaints.

 

We have a dedicated FAQ page, but here are some of the common questions we are asked about the Legal Ombudsman and OLC.

How are you funded?

We get the vast majority of our funding from the annual fee that service providers pay to their regulators.

In certain circumstances, we also charge a case fee to the service providers we have investigated.

Our funding is gathered by the Ministry of Justice and Legal Services Board to maintain our independence from the profession.

Who is the Legal Ombudsman accountable to?

The Legal Ombudsman scheme is directly accountable to our board, the OLC, who meet on a regular basis to review our performance and work.

The OLC is directly accountable to the Legal Services Board.

The relationship is set out in the Legal Services Act and in a Memorandum of Understanding. The LSB  have powers such as appointing our board, approving our budget and approving changes to our Scheme Rules.

The OLC is also a public body and accountable to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Tripartite Operating Protocol sets out the relationship between the OLC, LSB and MoJ.

These documents can be found here.

Are you independent from the profession?

Yes.

Prior to the Legal Services Act service complaints were investigated by each profession. So for example solicitors were investigated by the Law Society, barristers were investigated by the Bar Council.

All complaints about the service of legal service providers are now investigated by the Legal Ombudsman. While the Legal Services Board has oversight of aspects of our performance we are not part of the regulatory structure.

The Legal Services Act also states that the Chief Ombudsman cannot be a lawyer.