By: 18 December 2014
Legal Ombudsman set to publish amended complaints handling rules for CMCs

The Legal Ombudsman is set to publish its amended complaints handling rules for 2015 that cover claims management regulation after receiving broadly positive feedback on its proposals.

The Ministry of Justice has received six responses to its consultation paper – Proposals for amendments to the Complaints Handling Rules – Complaints handling by the Legal Ombudsman – which was published on 3 November. Five responses were supportive of its proposed amendments.

Included in the amended rules are stipulations that claims management companies must inform prospective and current clients that they can complain to the Legal Ombudsman and remind complainants that they can contact the Ombudsman within 8 weeks of receiving a complaint.

Of the responses that were supportive of the proposed amendments, Money Active, a financial compensation CMC, stated that the proposals were “overall clear and fair”, while The Association of Regulated Claims Management Companies (ARC) stated that the changes seemed “appropriate to ensure that the LeO scheme is workable”.

In its reply, Barclays Bank said that it agreed with the proposals “at a very high level”.

“Barclays agrees with the proposals submitted within the consultation paper […] and continues to form the view that the move to extend the Legal Ombudsman jurisdiction to deal with complaints from consumers dissatisfied with the service provided to them by CMCs is a positive one for consumers,” it said.

The Legal Ombudsman will begin taking complaints about authorised persons from 28 January 2015, the same date from which the complaints handling rules for 2015 will be effective.