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Lexis+ AI
Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Deputy Editor, Solicitors Journal

LeO still performing below par

LeO still performing below par


The departing chief ombudsman Rebecca Marsh has admitted that the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) is still failing to meet the performance levels expected of it.

Her statement was released yesterday, along with the Office for Legal Complaints’ Annual Report and Accounts for 2019/20.

Marsh (pictured) said: “While it is clear that the overall performance of the Legal Ombudsman has not yet reached the levels we are seeking I am confident that the work completed to date provides strong foundations for future development”.

LeO has long set out to improve its performance, including reducing the time it takes to resolve complaints.

Despite improvements to investigation times over the past year, the organisation is still taking too long to reach decisions.

This meant that, overall, people had to wait longer than they should for an answer from the ombudsman.

The report notes that as the covid-19 crisis unfolded earlier this year, LeO was able to smoothly transfer to home working, keeping its contact centre open throughout. The pandemic meant that the OLC Board decided to request a standstill budget for the year 2020/21 rather than the planned for budget increase.

New chair, Elisabeth Davies said: “Since joining the OLC in April 2020 my focus has been on ensuring that I and the Board fully understand the issues facing the organisation that have, and continue to prevent the Legal Ombudsman from making further improvements.

“As the long-term impact of coronavirus becomes clearer LeO will need to consider how effectively its processes and systems meet the continuing demand for its service, along with ensuring it has good and valued people, to deliver the quality of service that is necessary”.


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