OLC Chair's Blog- 2024-27 Strategy and  2024/25 Business Plan launch

We rely on legal services at key times in our lives – whether it’s buying a home, dealing with bereavement, having issues at work, ending a marriage, or being involved in legal action. It’s because they matter so much that an effective Legal Ombudsman (LeO) matters. If something goes wrong, consumers and legal providers should have confidence it can be resolved fairly and as quickly as possible.  

Since the beginning of 2023/24, the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) has been developing a new 2024-27 strategy for LeO, together with the budget and business plan for its first year, 2024/25. This has involved comprehensive engagement with representatives of legal service users and providers, as well as with LeO’s people.  Building on conversations earlier in the year, we ran a formal 8-week consultation period in late 2023.  

This meant that, when the Legal Services Board (LSB) formally considered our future plans at its meeting last week, we knew both that our people and stakeholders had helped shape our proposals, and that, overall, we had their support.  

Turning strategy and plans into action 

Now we have formal approval from the LSB, we can put our strategy and plans into action.  

The progress LeO already has made in improving people’s experience of its service  speaks to the hard work and commitment of everyone at LeO. It means that, as we look ahead to the new strategy period, we have firm foundations for the future. 

However, while recognising the substantial improvements LeO has already made, we’ve been clear that there’s no room for complacency. By the end of the strategy period, we want to say with confidence that LeO is delivering an excellent experience for those relying on it. 

We’re also ambitious about establishing LeO as a constructive and strategic voice for improvement – and in view of our consultation, we’re confident this ambition is shared by the majority LeO’s stakeholders.  

It’s rooted in the idea that complaints don’t only matter individually – but taken together, create a bigger picture of what’s happening in legal services, what’s going wrong, and what needs to change so that people get the service they’re relying on at critical times in their lives.  

The two objectives are fundamentally linked. Our ability to deliver relevant, impactful learning and insight depends on our providing a timely, effective and efficient service. Equally, we can’t deliver a timely, effective and efficient service if we don’t feed back what we’re seeing, helping legal service providers and consumers prevent issues and complaints at source.  

As we said in our consultation, this will be a journey for LeO – and the legal sector – over the course of the strategy. 2024/25 will involve delivering in priority areas, while building capacity and scoping a programme for future years – and contributing to the LSB’s programme of work on first tier complaints.  

LeO is now at a pivotal stage – with the OLC’s new strategy, and 2024/25 plans, representing a significant shift and step forward.   

I’m grateful again for all the open and constructive feedback we’ve received. And I look forward to continuing the conversation as we start to deliver our ambitions.  


Elisabeth Davies