Changes to the way LeO handles complaints

From 1 February, the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) is changing the way it handles complaints (although this will not apply to complaints brought before this date).

The changes mean that the list of services about which complainants can bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman is being extended to include situations relating to prospective customers.

For example, LeO will be able to accept complaints when an authorised person has either unreasonably refused a service to a complainant, or persistently or unreasonably offered a service that the complainant does not want. In addition, there are changes to the scheme rules where the Ombudsman can dismiss or discontinue a complaint, as well as changes to the time limits within which a complaint can be brought to the Ombudsman.

Financial limits for compensation also are now being increased from £30,000 to £50,000. From 1 April there will also be a change to the case fees. Currently all authorised persons receive two free cases per financial year but from the start of the new financial year there will be a charge of £400 per case unless a case fee waiver applies.

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