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The Legal Ombudsman has launched its consultation regarding proposed changes to its scheme rules so as to become a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution provider under the EU ADR directive. Responses are due by 2 November which is a short deadline.

If implemented, the time for complaining would be extended and the Grounds for Refusing to deal with a complaint greatly reduced. The Legal Ombudsman appears to consider that it will be able to only deal with service disputes although there is a cross over and overlapping with negligence claims and they say that the customer will have to choose whether to complain to them or take legal action.

These changes would increase the ambit of the Legal Ombudsman’s remit at what cost to the Legal Profession? There are no costings provided or details of the budget for these changes.  There is no indication as to whether the case fees will rise, but apparently there will have to be further changes which will be open to further consultation.

Of course, it is open to lawyers to signpost to a different certified ADR provider, like ProMediate.  If a dispute is resolved by such an organisation, the Legal Ombudsman will not publish details of the complaint, which is another advantage.  The process is voluntary and confidential.


For details of the consultation please go to:

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