Decisions made about legal service providers

We publish data on all complaints that have been resolved by an ombudsman’s final decision.

On this page you can view case summaries and information relating to final decisions made. On occasion, we also highlight concerns to the public about service providers as a public interest case.

Ombudsman decision data

The Office for Legal Complaints is empowered by the Legal Services Act 2007 to publish information on ombudsman decisions. Our Board has instructed us to do this on our website. The information we publish is a simple and transparent record of decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman.

This approach is consistent with government policy which requires organisations such as ours to publish information of this type. It is also consistent with the approach taken by other ombudsman schemes.

The data is published in accordance with our Publishing Decisions policy.

This policy statement summarises how we approach the publication of decisions, how we will use this information to raise standards and how we will monitor and review the publishing decisions policy.

Publishing Decisions policy statement

This data displays details of legal service providers that have received an ombudsman’s decision made between 1st October 2018 and 30th September 2019.

View datatable
View decisions data file (.csv)

Public interest cases

This is where you’ll find detailed reports on cases where there has been a pattern of complaints or set of individual circumstances that have resulted in an ombudsman decision(s) that indicate it is in the public interest that the service provider should be named.

Our Board decided to publish the names of these service providers following extensive consultation.

Please note that this data is from the Legal ombudsman records only. To find out more about service providers you will need to approach them directly or contact the relevant approved regulator.

Our performance - KPIs 2018-19

Key performance indicators are measures that we use to demonstrate how effectively we are working. This information is reviewed on a regular basis by our Management Team and the OLC and allows us to monitor the quality of service we provide to all our customers.

Our data is published on a quarterly basis and covers the following areas:

  • Customer experience and quality
  • Reputation and raising professional standards
  • Efficiency and resilience
  • People, leadership and culture

Further information about our KPI’s can also be found in our board reporting. The KPI data below is for the legal jurisdiction, and overall information for the Legal Ombudsman.

Use the tabs below to see our full range of KPI data.

Timeliness

We aim to resolve complaints quickly and fairly, achieving the right outcome based on the facts.

The time it takes to resolve a case depends both on the views of the parties to the complaint and the complexity of the issues involved. If a case can be resolved informally, it tends to take less time than if a longer investigation or an ombudsman’s decision is required. We measure the timeliness of our work from the date the case is accepted for investigation.

We currently have two KPI’s to measure the timeliness of our work:

  • The first KPI measures all complaints under our legal jurisdiction.
  • The second KPI measures cases by complexity.

 

KPI Measure April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
1) % All legal cases concluded 45% within 90 days 48% 51% 50%
78% within 180 days 63% 72% 70%
95% within 365 days 69% 78% 77%

 

 

KPI Measure April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
2) % Legal cases concluded by complexity 65% within 90 days (low) 89% 83% 83%
40% within 90 days (med) 54%- 50% 45%
0% within 90 days (high) 25% 11% 8%
90% within 180 days (low) 98% 99% 99%
85% within 180 days (med) 92% 91% 85%
33% within 180 days (high) 75% 56% 33%
99% within 365 days (low) 100% 100% 100%
95% within 365 days (med) 100% 100% 98%
85% within 365 days (high) 100% 100% 83%

Customer satisfaction

Delivering a high-quality service is of fundamental importance to us. It is what matters most to our customers and stakeholders and we are committed to improving the standard and consistency of our work.

The first KPI measure is taken from our regular independent customer satisfaction survey, where we survey our customers (both complainants and service providers) at the end of the process. Satisfaction with service in our legal jurisdiction is gathered quarterly.

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Legal 85% customers satisfied with service (satisfied with outcome) Service providers 80%
Complainant 97%
15% customers satisfied with service (dissatisfied with outcome) Service providers 11%
Complainant 7%

*No or limited responses from service providers

Service Complaints

The second KPI looks at complaints about the service we provide and how many we uphold. Our process has 3 levels and allows for complaints to be escalated to an external Service Complaints Adjudicator if required. We seek to resolve complaints as early as possible.

Further information can be found in in our Service Complaints Procedure and Service Complaints Adjudicator report.

 

 

Quarter 1
Stage Upheld % against cases accepted for investigation Upheld % against service complaint received
1 .84% 25.5%
2 0% 0%
3 0% 0%
Quarter 2
Stage Upheld % against cases accepted for investigation Upheld % against service complaint received
1
2
3
Quarter 3
Stage Upheld % against cases accepted for investigation Upheld % against service complaint received
1
2
3
Quarter 4
Stage Upheld % against cases accepted for investigation Upheld % against service complaint received
1
2
3

Our reputation KPI’s include an indicator of how well we are working with our external stakeholders and whether complainants would recommend us to others. We look separately at complainants who are satisfied and dissatisfied with the outcome of their case as we know that this can significantly affect the views of our service.

 

Stakeholders agreeing that LeO provides value-adding insight Actual 2018/19
a. How would you rate the guidance? Relevant 79%
Useful 80%
b. How would you rate the training? Relevant 76%
Useful 76%
c. % stakeholders agree we have effectively shared learning/insights with them over the last 12 months 68%
d. % stakeholders agree we have effectively shared learning/insights with service providers over the last 12 months 79%

 

Target Actual 2018/19
% of complainants satisfied with their outcome who would speak highly of LeO 80% 87%
% of complainants dissatisfied with their outcome who would speak highly of LeO 10% 3%

We are committed to delivering an efficient service within budget. Our unit cost is the total running costs divided by the number of closed cases. The unit costs represents rolling figures which are updated during the year. Overhead costs are apportioned between our legal and CMC jurisdictions.

Target Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Unit cost – legal jurisdiction £1,695 £1952

We are committed to ensuring that the Legal Ombudsman offers an attractive package to all our employees. This includes flexible working, staff development and a focus on wellbeing.

 

Target Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Rolling annual turnover rate <18% 21.8%
Average days per employee lost to sickness <8.5 days per FTE 10.6 employee days
Staff survey engagement index > 60% 50%

Prompt payment performance

From April 2015, the Government’s Prompt Payment Policy requires departments to publicise, on a quarterly basis, the percentage of their invoices that have been paid within 5 and 30 days respectively.

From April 2016, it will also be a requirement that departments publish figures of all liable interest under the late payment legislation.

Financial year 2018/2019 Percentage of invoices paid within 5 days Percentage of invoices paid within 30 days Total amount of interest liable to pay
Quarter 1 2% 94% 0
Quarter 2 7% 94% 0
Quarter 3 6% 95% 0
Quarter 4 16% 95% 0

 

Financial year 2017/2018 Percentage of invoices paid within 5 days Percentage of invoices paid within 30 days total amount of interest liable to pay
Quarter 1 16% 95% 0
Quarter 2 6% 88% 0
Quarter 3 5% 98% 0
Quarter 4 12% 95% 0

 

Financial year 2016/2017 Percentage of invoices paid within 5 days Percentage of invoices paid within 30 days total amount of interest liable to pay
Quarter 1 13% 95% 0
Quarter 2 10% 97% 0
Quarter 3 7% 96% 0
Quarter 4 8% 95% 0

Complaints data 2018-19

In this section you will find some data about complaints we have handled from 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019. We collate and publish complaints data on an annual basis. The information you can view is available both for England and Wales combined and for data specific to Wales only. The data is split into the categories listed below:

  • Who complained to us?
  • Which people or organisations made a complaint?
  • Who was complained about?
  • Volume of complaints by area of law?
  • What were the areas of law by regulator?
  • What were the complaints about?
  • What were the complaints about by regulator?
  • What was the remedy type?
  • What was the resolution method?

Click on the tabs below to view the data.

Please note: Certain historic data will be updated for cases which may be reopened for further investigation and reclosed at a later date. We do not restate data to reflect this as the effect of this is not significant. Where nets and other results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to multiple responses, computer rounding or the exclusion of don’t knows/not stated.

Who complained to us?

Under the Equality Act 2010, we are required to collate data about those individuals who have made a complaint. The data* we collect is analysed to ensure that we do not have a negative effect on the different equality groups. We report on this data on an annual basis.

The graphs below show who has made a complaint by ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and impairment.

*Figures based on those who agreed to provide their Equality and Diversity information.

Click here for the CSV version of this data, (document opens in a new window).

England and Wales Wales only

Which people or organisations made a complaint?

The graph below shows who has made a complaint, for example a trustee, beneficiary or member of the public. These categories are set out in the Legal Services Act 2007.

Click here for the CSV version of this data, (document opens in a new window).

England and Wales Wales only

Who was complained about?

The graph below shows the percentage of complaints we have received about service providers based on who their regulator is, for example the Bar Standards Board, Solicitors Regulation Authority of Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Click here for the CSV version of this data. (document opens in a new window).

England and Wales Wales only

Volume of complaints by area of law

The graph below shows the volume of complaints we received by area of law; for example, whether people complained to the Legal Ombudsman about a family law issue, a personal injury matter or about a will.

Click here for the CSV version of the data, (document opens in a new window).

England and Wales Wales only

What were the areas of law by regulator?

The CSV file below shows the number of complaints we received by area of law (for example family law, conveyancing or personal injury) and regulator type.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What were the complaints about?

The table shows what the complaints were about by area of law, for example excessive costs or failure to advise.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What were the complaints about by regulator?

The table shows what the complaints were about (for example excessive costs or failure to advise) by regulator type.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What was the remedy type?

If a consumer receives poor service an ombudsman may tell a service provider to put in place a remedy to resolve the complaint. Remedies can include the ombudsman giving instructions to issue an apology, give back documents, do more work to put things right, refund or reduce legal fees, or pay compensation.

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

What was the resolution method?

The table shows  if complaints were closed*, resolved informally or went through to an ombudsman decision.

*Closed cases include:

  • Complaints that were withdrawn by the person who complained
  • The person that complained did not make any further contact
  • Complaints which may be closed under our scheme rules

Click here for the CSV version of the data table, (document opens in a new window).

How do we put things right?

In the majority of cases it is the complainant who requests a decision by an ombudsman. This is consistent with some evidence from other ombudsman schemes that there has been an increase in complainants’ propensity to pursue their complaints as far as possible. It may also reflect an increase in the number of lawyers offering reasonable remedies at the first tier which, if true, is a positive development. Nevertheless, we will continue to work at brokering more informal resolutions moving forward.

In our view, these figures suggest that complainants do as well when accepting an investigator’s recommendation and opt for an informal resolution as they do when insisting on an ombudsman’s decision. While lawyers might be tempted to hold out for an ombudsman decision, they should factor in the additional time and resource they will have to put into managing the complaint and accept that the customer is likely to walk away feeling even less positive about their firm with the increased risk to their reputation that this entails.

This year:

  • 16.6% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of up to £299.5
  • 15.7% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of between £300 and £999.
  • 9.0% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of between £1000 and £4,999.
  • 2.6% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy between £5,000 and £9,999.
  • 1.5% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy between £10,000 and £19,999.
  • 0.9% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy £20,000 and above.

This year (Wales only):

  • 15.1% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of up to £299.5
  • 18.6% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of between £300 and £999.
  • 11.6% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial remedy of between £1000 and £4,999.
  • 5.8% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy between £5,000 and £9,999.
  • 2.3% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy between £10,000 and £19,999.
  • 0.0% of ombudsman decisions resulted in a financial resulted in a remedy £20,000 and above.