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 Post subject: The Legal Ombudsman
PostPosted: February 13th, 2011, 12:23 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2007, 4:21 pm
Posts: 507
Location: London
The Legal Ombudsman now deals with complaints about solicitors. They can be contacted by telephone on 0300 555 0333 (8.30 to 5.30) or by email at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

You can view their guides on making a complaint on http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/aboutu ... tions.html

The Legal Ombudsman will award compensation for negligence and will take further action on your behalf, if they deem it necessary.

If you are going to present a claim for negligence you should proceed in the same way as you would if you were going to present a claim to a court, i.e. you should seek the assistance of a lawyer because the arguments that the firm were negligent must be clear and the correct evidence presented, otherwise the decision could go against you. (The Legal Ombudsman may also be able to help you obtain evidence from the firm that you need to pursue your claim.)

If you are considering complaining about Giambrone Law, this may be complicated by the transfer of your file to a different legal entity in Italy and a determination may have to be made about whether you should complain to the Legal Ombudsman in London or the Consiglio dell'Ordine in Palermo, Italy. I understand that a manager has been appointed at the Legal Ombudsman to help deal with the Giambrone Law clients.

If you did not sign new instructions with the Italian firm, pay any of their bills and had no knowledge that your file had been transferred outside of the jurisdiction of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, or were unaware of the implications of the transfer, be sure to tell the caseworker.

There is also a time limit on complaints and you need to read the guides provided and give them a call.

As with any new system it is a bit of a minefield and your experiences may be of benefit of other members who find themselves in a similar predicament so please do report them.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Ombudsman
PostPosted: February 15th, 2011, 11:55 am 
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Joined: June 4th, 2007, 4:21 pm
Posts: 507
Location: London
The Legal Ombudsman will be reviewing the Giambrone cases currently in their possession within the next few weeks.

For those who have lost or could lose substantial sums of money and believe that the firm acted negligently or indeed dishonestly, now is the time to contact the Legal Ombudsman to see if you can get your case accepted.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Ombudsman
PostPosted: February 15th, 2011, 2:50 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2010, 6:16 pm
Posts: 15
Just a thought - I know that there is limited compensation that the Ombudsman can award. However, a lot of people have legal cover on their household insurance (which people just forget about) it is worth checking to see if you have this cover. This is the route we have taken as well as the Ombudsman. We recovered the full amount of VAT owning to us by appointing our own solicitors (fees paid by the insurance company) which the Ombudsman did not have the power to recover. I hope this is of some help. Just make sure you choose a high profile company of solicitors, after all you are not paying the fees - the insurance company is.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Ombudsman
PostPosted: February 15th, 2011, 5:21 pm 
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Joined: May 21st, 2010, 11:46 am
Posts: 23
mac1 wrote:
Just a thought - I know that there is limited compensation that the Ombudsman can award. However, a lot of people have legal cover on their household insurance (which people just forget about) it is worth checking to see if you have this cover. This is the route we have taken as well as the Ombudsman. We recovered the full amount of VAT owning to us by appointing our own solicitors (fees paid by the insurance company) which the Ombudsman did not have the power to recover. I hope this is of some help. Just make sure you choose a high profile company of solicitors, after all you are not paying the fees - the insurance company is.



I'm a bit confused - can you please tell me which VAT charge you are referring to?


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Ombudsman
PostPosted: February 18th, 2011, 6:00 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2010, 6:16 pm
Posts: 15
this was an issue on our property only. Sorry to have confused you. We bought a property on the west coast that was already completed - we were charged VAT - which doesn't apply to an older property and we had trouble getting it back.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Ombudsman
PostPosted: February 20th, 2011, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2007, 4:21 pm
Posts: 507
Location: London
If you have had problems obtaining your file or have received an incomplete file from Giambrone Law, you could write and try and obtain it from them if you havent already done so in the last six months or you could contact the Legal Ombudsman and ask them for their opinion and advice as they can apply to the High Court as a last resort.

See below:

LeO to show its claws with High Court order forcing solicitor to comply

"The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) is to show its claws for the first time by seeking a court order to force a solicitor to provide access to documents, it has emerged.

In the first use of LeO’s powers under the Legal Services Act, general counsel Anthony Rich is to instruct counsel to go to the High Court and enforce the right to get full access to relevant documents from a solicitor “who appears to be resolutely unwilling to disclose them”, according to chief ombudsman Adam Sampson.

Mr Sampson said: “We know the solicitor exists. He has, occasionally, answered the phone to our investigators. Also, to judge from the steady flow of new complaints about him, we are receiving (nine cases open and counting), he appears still to be working. This is not a case of a lawyer who has died, absconded or simply shut up shop.”

Mr Sampson said LeO has given the solicitor “every chance” to comply with its requests. “We have written, phoned, sent him warnings about our intention to use our powers, and liaised with the Solicitors Regulation Authority to give them time to intervene.”

Mr Sampson said that in other circumstances, LeO may have gone ahead without the solicitor’s co-operation. “We make our decisions on the balance of evidence before us and if one party chooses not to come forward with evidence to rebut that provided by the other party, they can hardly complain if our decision goes against them.”

However, one of the complaints is from a man “desperately trying to get access to his file, which the solicitor still holds, so that he can respond to a coming court action”.

Mr Sampson added: “Our solicitor could – should – simply release the file. If he doesn’t accept our power to demand it from him, we will simply have to ask the High Court to enforce it.”

Your file should include all documentation in relation to your purchase, details of the financial transactions, attendance notes etc.


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