Recruitment drive for new legal complaints chair begins

The Legal Services Board (LSB) is recruiting a new Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) – the body responsible for ensuring that there is an independent ombudsman service to consider complaints about legal services in England and Wales.

The OLC is the board of the Legal Ombudsman and the Legal Services Board (LSB) appoints its Chair and Members. The LSB holds the OLC to account for its performance in administering the Legal Ombudsman scheme.

A competitive recruitment campaign for the role began on 29 October 2019. The closing date for applications is 4 December 2019.

The recruitment pack for the role explains that the LSB is looking for an outstanding individual with a proven track record in – and focus on – customer redress and satisfaction.

Dr Helen Phillips, Chair of the Legal Services Board said:

“An independent and accessible complaints system is vital to ensuring consumer confidence in legal services and providing redress when things go wrong.

“We are looking for a leader with previous executive experience of driving and sustaining transformational change and building confidence among stakeholders and partners. In addition, we hope to find an individual with experience of – or a commitment to – feeding back learning to support the profession in avoiding complaints in the first instance.

The OLC’s current Chair, Wanda Goldwag, took up post on 1 April 2017. She is stepping down on 31 March 2020 at the end of a three-year term.

Dr Helen Phillips, added:

“I would like to thank Wanda for her contribution to the Office for Legal Complaints and for leading the organisation through its modernisation programme, which has started to improve the service offered to people with complaints.

“The new chair will need to build on this work and be responsible for leading the Legal Ombudsman into a period of sustained high performance.”

Notes for editors:

  1. For more information about the role of the Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints and the recruitment process, visit–office-for-legal-complaints–olc-.html.
  2. The Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) is responsible for establishing and administering the Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales – the independent and impartial complaints resolution body for the legal sector.
  3. The Legal Services Act 2007(the Act) created the LSB as a new regulator with responsibility for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The new regulatory regime became active on 1 January 2010.
  4. The LSB oversees ten approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual legal practitioners. The approved regulators, designated under Part 1of Schedule 4 of the 2007 Act, are the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Master of the Faculties, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Association of Costs Lawyers, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is an approved regulator for probate activities only but does not currently authorise anyone to offer this service.
  5. As of 1 April 2018, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 146,600 solicitors, 16,600 barristers, 7,600 chartered legal executives and 6,000 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing (figures rounded to the closest hundred). The UK legal sector turnover was £33 billion per annum (2017) which is up 19% in cash terms since 2012.

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