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Legal Ombudsman issues guidance on Scheme Rules changes
6 February 2023

There are changes to the Legal Ombudsman Scheme time limits for bringing a complaint which come into effect on 1st of April this year.

The Legal Ombudsman has now issued guidance and recommends as of now changing the relevant text in both your terms of business and complaints handling procedure to reflect this change.

Suggested wording for your terms of business would be:

If at any point you become unhappy with the service we provide to you, then please

inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem for you. You can

obtain a copy of our complaints procedure here [insert link].

If we are unable to resolve your complaint then you can have the complaint independently

looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about

service issues with lawyers.

The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within six years of the date

of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within three years of you realising

there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within

six months of our final response to you.

However, please note that from 1 April 2023 these time limits are changing. From the 1

April the Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within a year of the

date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within a year of you realising

there was a concern. The requirement to refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman

within six months of our final response to you remains the same.

You can adopt the same wording, without the first paragraph, at the appropriate place in your complaints handling procedure.

To read the Legal Ombudsman’s guidance on the Scheme Rule changes, click here.

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