Thousands of people are being ripped off by companies providing unregulated services such as will writing, claims the first Legal Ombudsman.In his first report, Chief Ombudsman for England and Wales Adam Sampson said the most complaints he saw concerned conveyancing, family law and wills.
He called for action to be taken to ensure consumers were not left vulnerable by unregulated services. Only a tiny fraction of legal services must be provided by a qualified lawyer.Many others including will writing, divorce and employment can be done by unqualified and unregulated individuals and organisations.
"One service which crops up a lot is will writing. It's a service carried out often by will-writing firms who aren't regulated," said Mr Sampson.
"Because of this, customers are left with little means of redress when things go wrong.
The legal ombudsman was appointed in October 2010 and can only act on complaints from those using the services of qualified lawyers.
Consumer organisation Which? and the Law Society have backed the ombudsman and called for more protection for customers.