Today (31 March 2022) the Office for Legal Complaints has published the Legal Ombudsman’s Business Plan and budget for 2022/23. 

2022/23 is the second of the Legal Ombudsman’s two-year journey to improve its performance. Building on foundations laid in 2021/22, it expects to halve the number of cases that are waiting for an investigation to start, and to resolve substantially more complaints at an earlier stage in its process.   

In 2022/23 the Legal Ombudsman will: 

  • Resolve more than 10,200 cases – 39% more than in 2021/22. 
  • Reduce average waiting times for an investigation to begin by 29% compared with 2021/22.  
  • Start the year with 33% more full-time investigator resource compared with 2021/22. 
  • Use early resolution initiatives to remove a minimum of 1,000 cases from the queue for an investigation to begin – or 2,000 when including other initiatives focused on greater proportionality. 
  • Halve the volume of complaints waiting for an investigation by the end of March 2023.  

Chief Ombudsman Paul McFadden said: 

“This Business Plan sets out the step-change we will deliver in 2022/23, which will see us reach historic levels of performance, leading to an acceptable and sustainable level – one that matches customers’ needs and expectations – by 2024.  

We will deliver a significant reduction in the Pre-Assessment Pool (PAP) and a clear path to removal of that PAP to a working level. We will see an improved customer experience and a substantial reduction in both customer journey time and unit cost.   

Through changes to the legal framework and our processes, we will further transform and rebalance the service that the Legal Ombudsman provides to one that is more proportionate and focused on delivering appropriate redress at the earliest point possible.  

This is rightly an ambitious plan but it is one that is based solidly on the investment – in change and people – that we made in 2021/22 and that we will continue to make through 2022/23.”   

Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) Elisabeth Davies said: 

“Legal services occupy a uniquely important part in our lives: accessed at the point of significant transitions or transactions with potentially life-changing consequences. If something goes wrong, the Legal Ombudsman must be ready to provide a trusted, impartial resolution – and vitally, to do so within an acceptable timeframe.   

This 2022/23 Business Plan has at its heart a roadmap for reaching a level of performance that is both acceptable – meeting the expectations of legal service users and providers – and sustainable. This is the bedrock of our clear vision of transformation. Our customers should expect nothing short of a first-class experience with the Legal Ombudsman.  

While there is hard work before us, it is clear that stakeholders’ confidence in the Legal Ombudsman’s leadership has greatly improved. The OLC will continue to run a tight assurance process, with a specific focus on the Pre-Assessment Pool reduction.” 

The full business plan can be viewed here.

If you have any questions about our Business Plan, please contact External Affairs at