The Office for Legal Complaints, which oversees the Legal Ombudsman, has decided to ‘name and shame’ lawyers in specific circumstances. From next year, for the first time specific information about individual complaints about lawyers will be available to the public.
Firms and individual lawyers will be named where there is a pattern of complaints or when it is in the public interest to do so. Every three months the Ombudsman will also publish lawyers’ names and firms involved in all complaints that have been resolved by a formal ombudsman decision. This will include good practice as well as bad will.
‘We consider we have struck a balance between protecting consumers and encouraging an independent and strong legal profession,’ comments Elizabeth France, chair of the Office for Legal Complaints. ‘Every day we know most lawyers do a good job for their clients – but there are some who simply don’t. That’s why it’s in the profession’s interest to make sure all who provide services to consumers are doing so effectively.’ Find out more here. Unsurprisingly, the development has not gone down well with all lawyers. See here.
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award