The Legal Ombudsman can deal with service-related complaints against fully qualified Chartered Legal Executive lawyers and law firms that we, or any other legal regulator, oversee. Their service is free to members of the public.

What is a service complaint?

Examples of service complaints include:

  • charging you an amount that is different from the original estimate
  • not explaining costs properly
  • not replying to your emails, calls or letters
  • delaying your case or not doing the work in the timescale that it should have been done, without a fair reason
  • not giving you enough information or giving unclear advice
  • not keeping you up to date about your case
  • losing your documents or not keeping them safe
  • not being polite when dealing with you
  • providing you with a poor standard of work

You can find out more about types of poor service on the Legal Ombudsman’s website.

What can the Legal Ombudsman do?

The Legal Ombudsman can make the lawyer or law firm:

  • apologise to you
  • refund all or part of your fees
  • return your documents
  • pay you compensation

CILEx Regulation cannot make the lawyer or law firm do any of these things, but if the Legal Ombudsman investigate your complaint and find that a person, or firm, that we oversee has behaved in a way that is likely to seriously breach our rules, they will usually tell us so that we can investigate and take disciplinary action against them if necessary.

How to complain to the Legal Ombudsman

Before complaining to the Legal Ombudsman, you must first complain to the firm that has been doing your legal work and give them up to 8 weeks to respond to you.

If you are not happy with the firm’s response, or they do not respond to you within 8 weeks, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint.

Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must be made within:

  • six years of the problem happening; or
  • three years from when you found out about it (if it happened more than six years ago).

If you do not complain to the Legal Ombudsman within these time limits, they may not be able to investigate your complaint.

You can find out more about the Legal Ombudsman and how they may be able to help you on their website.

Legal Ombudsman contact details


Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Calling from overseas: +44 121 245 3050
NGT Lite users: 18001 0300 555 0333
Minicom text phone user: 18002 0300 555 0333
Write to: The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ