Off to collect their prize.
Slater and Gordon was found to have provided more clients with a poor service than any other firm in 2022/23, according to data released by the Legal Ombudsman.
The personal injury firm attracted 15 complaints over the last year that required a decision by the body, which was established to resolve disputes between consumers and legal service providers.
It ruled that 14 of the complaints against Slater and Gordon involved poor service, ranging from deficient advice to failure to progress matters, failure to keep clients informed, and failure to follow instructions.
In nine of the cases Slaters' complaints handling process was found to be unreasonable, and in 12 cases the Ombudsman was required to provide a remedy, usually monetary compensation of up to £10k, for emotional impact and disruption.
Lyons Davidson matched Slaters' record for numbers of complaints necessitating the involvement of the ombudsman, but poor service was found in only seven of its 15 cases, and its complaint handling was judged reasonable in all but one instance.
Proving size isn’t everything when it comes to shonky advice, a small firm specialising in extricating clients from Spanish timeshares managed to accumulate as many findings of poor service as Slater and Gordon.
The ombudsman investigated and upheld 14 complaints against Sarah Waddington Solicitors, and found the firm’s complaint handling was not reasonable in 11 of those cases.
A spokesperson for SWS told ROF, “We are naturally concerned that a number of our clients have brought complaints to the Legal Ombudsman. We would add that we also have very many clients who have been extremely happy with our services and for whom we have been able to assist them with the relinquishment of very burdensome contractual obligations with timeshare companies".
"In many cases we have also been able to obtain offers of compensation for clients that amount to almost 4 million pounds. This has often been complex and long running work in a practice area that we were amongst the first firms to offer advice and assistance to clients who had been fobbed off by the timeshare companies", they added.
Irwin Mitchell accumulated 11 complaints warranting investigation, but the ombudsman found poor service in only four of those cases.
DWF was similarly exonerated, with the ombudsman finding that it only provided a poor service in respect of one of the nine complaints made against it, and that in all nine cases its complaint handling had been reasonable.
Slater and Gordon did not respond to a request for comment.