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Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.
I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)
Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.
Sorry to hear of the issue.
I would say yes, you have grounds to involve the Ombudsman - mainly because of the serious delays and the fact you are out of pocket.
The lawyers need to carry out their service with care and skill - and they need to ensure you receive a good standard of client care.
If not, you must make a complaint to the law firm - they have to deal with all complaints and they should have a designated person to deal with complaints if you ask. You mention their compliance officer so they will be able to accept the complaint.
If that does not resolve this then yes, go to the Legal Ombudsman - they can be reached here: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk
The Ombudsman will look at this case independently and will make a decision based on what happened. Their decision is binding on the law firm.
The above is the only way forwards in my view, short of court action. A lawyer is not required - the procedure is set up for consumers and small/medium sized businesses as a means of alternative dispute resolution. It is also free to use and quicker than court action too.
I hope this helps
It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.
If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.
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I look forward to helping you again soon.
You do have grounds for compensation yes - you would need to speak to the compliance officer first and give them a chance to resolve this for you (they have up to 8 weeks to do this). If you reach an impasse then it's at that point you involve the Ombudsman.
My pleasure, thanks