Consumers are at the heart of a package of measures to improve legal services announced by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, today.
The new measures will introduce a regulatory framework covering all legal professionals, create a new complaints process and permit new arrangements for setting up legal businesses
A single and fully independent body, the Office for Legal Complaints, will be set up to handle all consumer complaints against regulated legal service providers where the complaint cannot be resolved at the local level. A single point of entry will be easier to access, providing consistent, fair and professional handling of cases for all complainants.
Most importantly, it will be demonstrably independent, while providing quick and fair redress for consumers. The Office for Legal Complaints will be headed by a board with a Chair and majority membership appointed from outside the legal profession. Appointments are to be made on merit.
1. Sir David Clementi published his report to Lord Falconer on 15 December 2004.
2. The professional bodies are the Law Society, Bar Council, Institute of Legal Executives, Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, Chartered Institute of Patent Agents, Council for Licensed Conveyancers, Immigration Services Commissioner and Court of Faculties.