The Legal Ombudsman has announced that it will name law firms and lawyers where there is a ‘pattern of complaints’ against them, from April 2012, according to a report in the Law Society Gazette here.

Being named by the Legal Ombudsman is expected to have serious commercial consequences for legal practices and is also likely to impact the firm’s ability to secure professional indemnity insurance cover.

“The insurance market wants to insure lower-risk firms and any practice with a pattern of complaints will find it difficult to secure professional indemnity insurance cover.  This move by the Legal Ombudsman means that firms with poor complaints records may have to pay more for their insurance or may even be forced into the Assigned Risks Pool, the insurer of last resort.” said Trevor Moss, Associate Director, Brunel Professional Risks.

“All is not lost however, firms with higher than average numbers of complaints have until next April to put their houses in order and we can help by providing risk management advice.”