06 July 2012

Lawyer naming-and-shaming plans delayed

A controversial naming-and-shaming policy for errant lawyers in England has been put on hold after the watchdog responsible said the process required 'refining'.

Stocks treatment for lawyers on hold

Stocks treatment for lawyers on hold

The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales had planned to launch this month a programme of publishing the names of law firms with complaints made against them. But, according to a report in London-based weekly, the Law Gazette, the scheme has been postponed to an unspecified date.


The move by Legal Ombudsman Adam Sampson has triggered speculation that his office has bowed to pressure from solicitors, many of whom have been angered by the plans to publish complaints details. The proposals were announced last November, and, as the Gazette points out, particularly controversial are proposals to publish quarterly summaries of the number of complaints each law firm has generated, the area of law involved and the outcome of the matter.
A spokesman for the ombudsman’s office told the newspaper that ‘we’ve been refining the process for publishing this information as we want to make sure it’s fair and accurate and unfortunately it’s taking longer than we had originally anticipated’.

Gay marriage

Meanwhile, the English Law Society is in the dock over its decision to cancel a planned debate on homosexual marriage at the organisation’s ornate central London headquarters.
Campaigning group Christian Concern is reported to have sent a letter before action to the society alleging breach of contract. A report in the newspaper Legal Week says the event at the end of May was pulled at the last minute, with the Law Society saying at the time that the debate conflicted with its ‘role in promoting diversity’.
According to the report, Christian Concern has instructed Shropshire-based law firm Andrews Law, while the society has briefed London-based human rights specialists Bindmans.


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