LEGAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE TRYING TO CUT CASES.
We think its a bad idea because most probate and estate final estates takes several years to finish and only then will one find out if it was a scam or not!
Here is the actual article from the law gazette below published a few days ago.
The legal ombudsman is advising law firms to change their client care letters now ahead of big changes to the scheme rules. Communications and signposting material must be updated with the new time limits for bringing complaints to the ombudsman, which come into force from 1 April.
The service issued guidance this week urging firms to act before that to ensure clients are fully informed that their window to complain has shrunk.
The ombudsman currently looks into complaints made within three years of clients finding out about a problem, and within six months of their lawyer’s final response.
The six-month final response timeframe will be unchanged, but the time for bringing complaints will be one year from the date of the act, or from when the complainant should have realised there was an issue.
The ombudsman explains that the reduced limitation period is due to older cases being more challenging to investigate: it is hoped that taking away this extra burden will help reduce the case backlog which has proved such a problem for the service in the last three years.
The guidance adds: ‘Although we are reducing our time limits, we are also changing the level of discretion we allow ourselves to accept out of time complaints.
‘Whilst previously the test was “exceptional circumstances” we are now allowing ourselves discretion to accept complaints in circumstances where we determine it to be fair and reasonable to do so.’
From April, the organisation will also have discretion to consider a complaint to have been resolved through a case investigator’s decision if neither party objects. Only when at least part disagrees will the matter be referred to an ombudsman, who can enforce a decision through the courts if necessary.
Further changes will make it easier to dismiss complaints where there are ‘compelling reasons’. This can include where the client is deemed not to have suffered ‘significant’ loss, distress, inconvenience or detriment.
If there is undue delay in bringing a complaint, or an ombudsman feels the complaint is too complex to investigate proportionately, complaints can also be dismissed without further enquiries.