The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) is an independent and impartial scheme set up to help resolve disputes about the service provided by legal service providers or entities (firms, businesses or practices). It is free to members of the public.
When should I contact the Legal Ombudsman?
If you need to make a complaint you should firstly complain to your legal services provider or entity and they will take steps to resolve your complaint for you.
If your complaint is not resolved by your legal services provider, then they must:
- Inform you that you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
- Give you contact details for the Legal Ombudsman.
- Inform you about the time frame for making a complaint.
Time limits for complaining to the Legal Ombudsman
Your legal services provider has up to 8 weeks to respond to your complaint. If you are not happy with their final response, or they have not responded within 8 weeks, you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
You should contact the Legal Ombudsman as soon as you can. You usually must refer your complaint to within 6 months from the date of the final response you receive from your legal services provider.
Ordinarily, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to look at your complaint if it meets the following three conditions:
- The problem, or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010.
- You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 years of the problem or within 3 years from when you found out about it.
- You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of your legal services provider's final response.
There might be exceptional situations when you may refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within the time limits set out above, or without having to first refer your complaint to your legal services provider.
You can find out more information from the Legal Ombudsman
fact sheet: 'How to complain to your legal service provider
How to contact the Legal Ombudsman
You can find out more about the Legal Ombudsman on their website:
Legal Ombudsman contact details:
Telephone: +44 (0)3005 550 333
Minicom: +44 (0)3005 551 777
The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ