Both the SRA and the CLC have published reminders to their respective lawyers that the Legal Services Ombudsman will take over the role of accepting service complaints from the 6th October 2010.
Conveyancers need to check the amended rules and guidance to ensure that they know the regulatory obligations they face.
The SRA has amended rules 2, and 20 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct and rule 3 of the Solicitors’ Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules 2001. The SRA stated that:
“The amendments to the rules and guidance are needed to reflect:
– responsibility for complaints handling passing from the Legal Complaints Service to the Legal Ombudsman on 6 October 2010, and
– the requirements of the Legal Services Board in relation to the information to be given to clients about their right to complain, including their right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman service.”
Ahead of this change, the Legal Ombudsman has issued the following three leaflets:
– Legal Ombudsman — Guide to Good Complaint Handling;
– Legal Ombudsman — Here to help;
– Legal Ombudsman — Making a complaint
Jaunita Gobby of Legal Eye a specialist compliance support business commented "Important changes to the Code of Conduct are taking place from the 6 October 2010 and it is important that law firms take the time to ensure their documentation / letters are updated in time. It is still challenging times for law firms as they are having to cope with smaller teams and in a lot of cases non fee earning roles have been made redundant (therefore the Office Manager / Practice Manager / Compliance Manager)."
Should you have any queries please contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0121 245 3050 (from October 6th this will change to 0300 555 0333, or 0300 555 1777 for minicom users) or [email protected]
Conveyancers should also consider their documentation and procedures to ensure that they are compliant with the new processes.