New ombudsman gets tough on complaints

Zahida Manzoor, the new legal services ombudsman, has pledged to take a robust stance to raise complaints handling standards after the office received 1,750 new cases in the last 12 months.
The new cases were from members of the public who remained dissatisfied with the way their complaints had been dealt with by the lawyers’ own professional bodies. Manzoor, who takes office this week, said there was a lot to be done to improve procedures, especially in relation to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors.
She said: “I see my role as threefold. To ensure that individual complaints are handled properly, to act as public watchdog on the standards of complaint handling by the professional bodies, and to raise standards generally throughout the legal professions.”