In his regular blog, Chief Ombudsman Adam Sampson looks at why stakeholders are important to the Legal Ombudsman. The blog can be found here
Adam Sampson starts by defining what a stakeholder is. The Legal Ombudsman uses the definition of a stakeholder as being someone who has a stake in what happens. Stakeholders at LeO include complainants, lawyers, regulators, officials, journalists and interested bystanders.
The Legal Ombudsman has a duty to engage with stakeholders, which must be balanced by the need to be independent from inappropriate external influence. This is why LeO has started a quarterly newsletter, LeO News. This can be used by the Ombudsman to let their stakeholders know what they are doing, and to share the views of some interested parties. It is intended that each issue of LeO News will feature feedback from stakeholders. Examples of this from the first issue include articles from the SRA and Citizens Advice Bureau on the costs work published by the Legal Ombudsman this year.
Adam Sampson also looks at the responses received on the consultation about the LeO scheme rules. He says that there was some surprise over the response given by a key stakeholder, the Legal Services Consumer Panel. The LSCP response was focused over the proposal to allow complaints from third parties, and raised a number of scenarios where it may be right to consider accepting complaints. Although it is not suggested that this suggestion will be acted on, Adam Sampson uses this example to show the importance of consultation.
Mr Sampson concludes his blog by stating that it is impossible for the Ombudsman to please all stakeholders. He uses the contentious example of the first attempt of LeO at publishing named data on Ombudsman decisions, which is sure to generate debate.
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