A new online complaints portal, being launched by the Legal Ombudsman, will make it easier for lawyers to manage complaints in one place.

Consumers will be encouraged to manage their complaints through the portal enabling them easily to keep track of progress.The new portal is expected to improve the reporting and analysis of complaints. Lawyers will be able to view complaint details, share information, confirm resolutions and access decisions online. It is one of a range of business improvement initiatives by the Legal Ombudsman, designed to save the service up to £2 million a year.

Chief Ombudsman, Adam Sampson, said: “We are constantly looking at ways in which we can make our service as efficient and cost effective as possible. The portal is one of the key innovations we’re making to achieve this goal. The portal will have benefits for consumers and lawyers, ultimately making life easier for everyone involved in the complaints process.”

Compliance Officers for Legal Practice (COLPs) will shortly be sent information about how to set up an account on the portal. Use of the portal will not be mandatory and the Ombudsman will continue to deal with complaints received by post and email.

“This is a sensible move by the Legal Ombudsman,” said James Page, Associate Director, Brunel Professional Risks. “The best way for lawyers to stop a complaint becoming a negligence claim, is to address and respond to the issue as quickly as possible. Anything that helps to resolve complaints without recourse to the courts is good news for the profession and their professional indemnity insurers.”

Further information is available from a press release issued by the Legal Ombudsman and press reports in the Law Society Gazette and Legal Futures.