High Court ruling could put legal complaints staff jobs at risk

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  • The Law Society (who brought this action) says on its website it welcomes, on behalf of all parties, the clarity the the decision provides. Did the other parties have any doubt? An order for costs has been made against the Law Society. How much, including its own costs, has it cost the Law Society to bring this action? Why are Law Society members having to pay for this? On reading the judgment it says "that it was accepted at the very least that the Law Society had been advised that probably TUPE did not apply". In these circumstances who made the decision within the Law Society to take these proceedings? The case was a resounding defeat for the Law Society and somebody should be made accountable for it.

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  • Surprise surprise the political mouthpiece of the Law Society , the Law Gazette website, makes no mention of this expensive failed action. We should be told how much this pointless action has cost the profession.

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  • I think we do need to question how much this is costing all of us. Having read the judgement I also have concerns about the Law Society's Chief Executive. He seems to have brought a legal action against an agreement that he was previously happy with. The judge seemed to have concerns about his actions. I will be asking my Council member to start questioning the CEO's position, after all we do pay his wages.

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  • Costs aside ... an FOI request should tell us this...

    Does anyone know if this exclusion will alsoapply to staff currently employed by the SRA?

    See...

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/performance_of_the_sra

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  • I would like to ask what position will the present OBM hold within this new setup. Also, if one disagrees with the results of this new body when a complaint about a solicitor is made, to whom does one take this further complaint.

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  • The SRA is not materially affected by the changes to the complaints-handling system, it will continue to deal with misconduct complaints.

    The current Legal Services Ombudsman's Office will be abolished. The only right of review for the new Legal Ombudsman Scheme will be judicial review.

    It is worth noting that the government made assurances as the Legal Services Act (which introduces these changes amongst others) went through Parliament that TUPE would apply protecting the jobs of staff employed by existing complaints handlers.

    The legal profession as I understand it may be footing the bill (in full or in part) for close down of the existing Legal Complaints Service and set up of the new Legal Ombudsman Scheme. Therefore, it is possible that the Law Society was at least partly motivated by reducing costs to the legal profession. Clearly if TUPE had applied both redundancy and recruitment costs would have been likely to be lower.

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