Consumers Complaints Service

First Stop Lawyer Protection Firm

As we know Zahida Manzoor is the Legal Services Ombudsman since 2003 this job invovles the overseeing of the Consumer Complaints Service ie. to see that complaints are handled inline with the rules laid down by the Law Society and she uses the word 'transparency', I don't think she quite knows what that means. In 2004 'Chuckling Charlie' Falconer gave her a second hat to wear that of Legal Services Complaints Commissioner

As we all know the Law Society complaints handling, which has its hands firmly on the reins of the 'Complaints Procedures' and as everyone knows is closely backed-up by Two Hats, the Bees Knees, of the Complaints Handling Society, has at regular intervals changed its name. - I'm not sure if this is to wipe the slate clean or to tell us 'Disgruntled Complainants' that things will improve. - The legal fraternity know this is all 'crap' but they think us poor 'idiots' will believe the new name will give us some fair play and accountability by the Law Society.

Solicitor John Wilson has said about the complaints bodys name: - "It has been changed regularly over the years so that 'it will never happen again' - but it always does. There used to be the Law Society Complaints Section. Then it was renamed the Solicitors' Complaints Bureau, then renamed again the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors, and recently renamed again the Consumer Complaints Service. But nothing ever changes, except the name". He goes on to state "Legal aid in particular has always been far more of a huge slush fund..."

The Law Society it appears is not bound by the 'Freedom of Information Act', a quote from a letter written by Alison M Crawley, Director of Regulation Compliance; "..., the Law Society is not subject to the Freedom of Information Acts." so they can and do carry out investigations into complaints behind 'closed doors' where the complainant will not be told anything the solicitors say in their own defence. All they have to say to the complainant is: - "the solicitors indicated..., and this information did not raise any issues for us to be concerned with". - However let me quote the law "When a public body is investigating a complaint all evidence must be available for inspection by all concerned", of course Alison M Crawley, Director of Regulation Compliance, states members of the Law Society are 'exempt'. - 'Game Set and Match' to the Law Society.

Data Protection Notice
We will use the information you give us to investigate your complaint. We will not use that information for any unconnected purpose without your consent. We will have to reveal your information to the firm or solicitor you have complained about. We may also have to reveal that information to our agents (people acting on our behalf) and to others involved in:

OSS and OSS complaint files (the OSS is now the CCS)
The Code applies to the OSS as part of the Law Society, but complaint files will not be disclosable except to the data subject and to the extent permissible under the Act.

The 'Data Protection Notice' and the 'OSS/CCS complaints files' give the complainant the impression that the information they submit to the CCS will only be used for purposes connected to their complaint and King Richard has stated that "If someone wants to use your information for another purpose…you should be told about it and given a choice".

Handling of requests for information
A request for information shall be acknowledged by or on behalf of the Chief Executive within 14 days of its receipt
All requests for information in accordance with this Code shall be in writing, addressed to the Chief Executive, and shall be signed by the person making the request.

The 'Handling of requests for information' gives a complainant the impression that anyone seeking information from their complaint's file will have to comply with the Law Society rules, if someone wants to use your information for unrelated purposes, King Richard states you must be told and given the choice, second to this what does the CCS say, they; "help you if you have a problem with your solicitor".

What a load of 'Crap' that is, it is well known a Solicitor can pick up the 'phone (see Attendance Note) and with no proof of their identity request information from complainants files held by the CCS, that have not even come under investigation, to use against the complainant. Who knows this goes on and do absolutely nothing to stop it, click Here. The joke about this is the CCS say, they; "help you if you have a problem with your solicitor". If you ask the CCS for help because the firm of solicitors are not complying with their own rules they will advise you to make a complaint which they will sit on for a couple of years and in the meantime will unlawfully give information from that complaint file to your Solicitor who will pass it on to third parties for advice on sacking the client because they had followed the CCS's advice and made a complaint.

If by any chance you should write a letter to the 'Rules Enforcer', Dickie the Chair, he will ring you during the evening and try to intimidate you and according to the Law Society and the 'Bees Knees' of the complaints world this is the correct procedure and what 'Dickie' does regularly to "disgruntled complainants".