The Scheme Rules set out how the Legal Ombudsman undertakes investigations and makes decisions about complaints.


The Legal Services Act 2007 says that we must have a set of rules (the Scheme Rules) which guide how we work. The rules are comprehensive and cover everything from who can complain, the types of complaints we can accept, when we can dismiss a complaint, and the different ways we resolve complaints.

We have also published Guidance on our Scheme Rules which may be useful.



Our Scheme Rules are updated from time to time. The current and archived versions of the rules can be found below:


Reason for update

Scheme Rules April 2023- current

Changes to Scheme Rules following full review. Amendments include changes to time limits. 

Scheme Rules April 2019 To remove reference to the CMC jurisdiction following their transfer to the FCA
Scheme Rules April 2018 Minor language amendments to reflect changes to the business process terminology
Scheme Rules Jan 2015 Inclusion of CMC jurisdiction
Scheme Rules Feb 2013 Changes to time limits and financial compensation limits following consultation
Scheme Rules Oct 2010 Original rules