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Fate of 300 complaints staff hangs in the balance

22 February 2010

The fate of over 300 staff at the Legal Complaints Service in Leamington Spa hangs in the balance this week as the High Court considers whether or not they are protected by TUPE.

The Law Society launched the judicial review in December last year, accusing the government of breaking an undertaking that the staff would be protected when the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) replaces the LCS this autumn.

The OLC currently consists only of a senior management team and a skeleton staff based at temporary offices in Birmingham.

It has postponed recruiting the 300 workers it needs before it moves to a permanent site in the city until the result of the judicial review is known.

Three days of hearings were held at the Administrative Court before Mr Justice Akenhead last week and the result is expected within days.

Des Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, said he was “deeply concerned” that the OLC and justice minister Bridget Prentice were ignoring TUPE (see Solicitors Journal 153/47 15 December 2009).

The Law Society was involved in talks with the OLC and MoJ before deciding to take legal action.

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