Performance data

The Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) is committed to being transparent around the standard of service the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) is providing. This page brings together key information about LeO’s performance. 

There is more detail about LeO’s aims for the current year in the OLC’s latest Business Plan and Budget and interim strategy. The OLC’s latest annual report and accounts sets out how the Legal Ombudsman delivered against its aims and objectives over the previous year. 

The most recent and previous publications are available on the reports and plans section of our website. 

We also publish information about the decisions we are making on complaints about legal services, as well as the issues involved in complaints and how to resolve and prevent them. 

Latest performance update

Performance summary

In the year to date, LeO has continued to improve customers’ experience – building on previous years’ progress:

  • So far in 2023/24 44% of all cases have been resolved within 90 days. In 2021/22, 80% were taking more than 180 days.

  • The half of LeO’s customers whose complaints have been resolved through early resolution could expect, on average, to get an outcome within 60 days – with no waiting time at all from the point LeO has all the information it needs to determine it has jurisdiction.

  • LeO has made a sustained reduction in the number of people waiting for an investigation – and anticipates a 30% reduction by the end of the year.

  • LeO expects to end 2023/24 within its Business Plan forecast ranges for resolved complaints, with improvements in the second half of the year following operational challenges in the first two quarters (as explained below).

  • The profile of the queue has changed significantly. At the queue’s peak in 2022, customers could expect to wait up to 16 to 24 months before their complaint reached an investigator. The half of cases that are resolved by early resolution now have no wait time. For the half needing an investigation, by the end of March 2024 LeO expects the average waiting time in the queue to be 170 days for all case complexities: 50 days shorter than the 2022/23 average.

LeO has made these improvements against a challenging backdrop. After a period of relative stability, it has seen a sustained increase in demand. In 2023/24 so far LeO has received more than 61,000 early contacts and enquiries – 13% more than in the same period last year – and a 5% increase in new customer complaints received via the website (from 4,740 last year to 4,977).

To ensure LeO’s service remains accessible through the transition to new Scheme Rules, for an initial period LeO has been carrying out upfront checks on all cases, to ensure the fair and reasonable application of discretion on whether to accept them. This process, while the right approach, has taken significantly more time and resource than originally anticipated. The need to direct resource to checks in the initial period has restricted the flow of cases through LeO’s process. It means that core demand (complaints accepted by LeO) appears lower than Business Plan forecasts, while underlying demand is increasing by other measures. Alongside increased attrition, this also means LeO hasn’t resolved as many cases as expected so far in 2023/24.

Core demand will increase during the second half of 2023/24 beyond the volumes assumed in the original Business Plan – reflecting the action LeO is taking to address the challenges highlighted above, increasing capacity where required and improving the flow of cases.

Latest annual performance 2022/23

The following infographic shows key performance headlines for 2022/23

Reporting to the OLC Board

The OLC Board oversees the performance of the Legal OmbudsmanTo support this, the Board receives a performance report from the executive team. These are published publicly alongside other Board papers each month.

Voluntary Assurance letters to the LSB

The OLC Chair updates the LSB on the performance of the Legal Ombudsman in the form of voluntary assurance letters after each OLC Board meeting. The most recent letter and previous letters are published on the LSB’s website. 

Forums for stakeholder feedback

Since 2021/22 the Legal Ombudsman has run a Challenge and Advisory Group, aimed at providing a forum for open feedback and constructive challenge on how LeO is delivering its service.  

In 2022/23 LeO also launched a Service Provider Forum to help ensure the views of those on the front-line of legal services are factored into strategic and operational decisions about LeO’s service. 

Challenge and Advisory Group Terms of Reference 

Service Provider Forum Terms of Reference