The Ombudsman

23/4/2021A Follow-up Note - there is no indication anywhere in the 2019-20 Annual Account that the compensation received of £1575.00 had been included as Income - perhaps it will show up as a seperate Income item in the 2020-21 account. 

All correspondence relating to the Ombudsman and the eventual ruling has been consolidated and placed here, this should enable viewers to follow the timeline between April 2019 to August 2020. This was an important request given that the committee decided to make their own claim against the Solicitor Malcolm Smith Ltd due to his behaviour, which is turn led to being awarded a refund compensation being paid in the amount of £1575.00, this was reported in the Committee Meeting Minutes dated August 4, 2019.       

29/1/2021 - To date there has been no response to the request to obtain or view a copy of the ruling.

17/8/2020 - Request sent to the Managing Agent:

Dear Managing Agent

I received a copy of the committee meeting minutes held on Aug 4, 2020, wherein it  stated that Mrs. L.... the Secretary had been persuing a claim against the previous solicitor Malcolm Smith Solicitors which had been successful.   Would it be possible to see a copy of the ruling given by the Ombudsman?

18/8/2020 Update

The Managing Agent responded to the request below stating "I will look into your request and back to you shortly."

25/8/2020 - email enquiry sent to the Managing Agent.

Hi – Can you tell me what is happening to the minutes of the last committee meeting held on September 15, also regarding to my request of the 17/8/2020 to obtain a copy of the Ombudsman’s Ruling regarding the claim against the previous solicitor Malcolm Smith Ltd.,  which you had responded to on the 18/8/2020 where you stated you would look at the request and get back to me.

 30/11/2020 - Regarding the Ombudsman's Ruling:

It would appear that the Managing Agent is far too busy to reply to repeated requests see 17/8/2020, 18/8/2020 and 25/8/2020 to obtain a copy of the Ombudsman's Ruling regarding the claim against the previous solicitor Malcolm Smith Ltd, also to a query sent regarding the newly adopted dormant status of the Sycamores sent on 27/1/2020 noted on the Accounts for year 2018/2019.  As Managing Agents of the estate they are required to treat enquiries from residents professionally and efficiently as part of their duties and not to ignore them.

 15/11/19 - Further Update from the Legal Ombudsman regarding the previous Solicitor

Received the following letter from the Legal Ombudsman regarding the complaint made against the previous solicitor employed by the Sycamores Residents Assoc Ltd which is self explanatory.   However this may not be the end of the matter due to the managing agent making a statement at the recent AGM that she too had reported the previous solicitor to the Ombudsman and that the director and committee had since dismissed the solicitor due to 'irregularities'. 

It would appear that the managing agent, as representative of the officials of the estate who were the actual 'clients' of the offending solicitor (the service provider), may be successful with the Legal Ombudsman as  they fit the category highlighted in their letter below.

It's worth mentioning at this point that the original complaint made to the Legal Ombudsman was regarding the Solicitor's lying and making false statements in relation to taking Legal Action to close down the website, see Solicitor's Statement at the AGM held 14/11/18

The managing agent should hopefully report back to the residents in due course once the Legal Ombudsman have completed their investigation on behalf of the officials of the estate, i.e. the director and secretary.  This matter will be raised at the next AGM when progress will have been made.

30 October 2019 - letter received from the Ombudsman re complaint:

File Reference: F063245 

Dear Mrs S....... 

Your complaint about M.. LEGAL SERVICES LLP 

Thank you for contacting the Legal Ombudsman.  

I am writing to you to confirm why we are unable to look at your complaint. 

I have now had the opportunity to consider your complaint about M.. Legal Services LLP and have decided that it does not come within our jurisdiction, so we are unable to investigate your complaint. My reasons for this are set out below. 

The Legal Ombudsman has formal powers to investigate complaints brought by individual consumers and by small firms, trusts or charities. We can only look at your complaint if:

·         You are a client of the service provider that you wish to complain about; or

·         You are an executor or beneficiary of the estate of a person who, before he/she died, had not referred the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman; or

·         You are a personal representative of the complainant (or example, you hold a Lasting Power of Attorney to manage their Property and Financial affairs).

In your case, you do not fit in any of the above categories. Unfortunately, this means we are unable to help you.  

Please get back in touch with us if you think we have got the facts as shown in this letter wrong or are aware of other matters that significantly alter the circumstances surrounding your complaint.  

Thank you again for contacting us. 

Yours sincerely General Enquiries Team, Legal Ombudsman

4/10/2019 Update from the Legal Ombudsman regarding the company Solicitor.

Today 4/10/19, I received the following response from the Legal Ombudsman following up on my contacting them in July when the then company solicitor was reported to the Legal Ombudsman for his disgraceful conduct.

Dear Mrs S.......

File reference: F063245

 Your complaint about ... Legal Services LLP - F063245 ERef:00049100355

Thank you for contacting the Legal Ombudsman. 

We apologise for the delay in our response which is due to high demand on our service at present.  

We have reviewed the information you have sent and understand that you have not received a final response to your complaint from the service provider.  

We have therefore written to the service provider today requesting they confirm receipt of the complaint and asking them to provide a final response if applicable. 

We have requested this information within 14 days so please allow this amount of time for us to update you further.

Yours sincerely 
General Enquiries Team,  

Legal Ombudsman

29/7/19 - Reference to letter of 2/4/19 sent to the company solicitor.

Referring to my letter of 2/4/19 to the company solicitor Mr. J...., to date he has not responded and it is now past time to contact the Legal Ombudsman and make a complaint against him and his company.  I have today sent full details of my complaint and enquiry via email and received the following acknowledgement and now await a response.

Legal Ombudsman

Thank you for your email

Thank you for your enquiry. It has been successfully received. We are currently dealing with a high volume of enquiries.

Due to the significant volume of enquiries we are dealing with, it is currently taking longer than expected to respond to emails.

Please be aware that it could be approximately 6 weeks before you hear from us.

We thank you for your patience and would like to reassure you that our teams are working very hard to resolve your queries fairly and as quickly as possible.

If we’ve already told you that your case has been accepted for investigation, your investigator will contact you when they start working on your case. Please note that, due to current high demand, it can take several months for your case to be assigned to an investigator.

If you need to write to us, our address is:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806

Telephone number 0300 555 0333.

2/4/19 - Letter sent via email to the Company Solicitior

Dear Mr. J....

Referring to the Sycamores Residents Association Ltd AGM which was held in October 2018, and when the matter of the Unofficial Website was brought up for discussion.  You informed the Residents during the meeting that you couldn't really go into much detail in relation to this matter as it was subject to ongoing Court Proceedings.  When I asked you a number of questions relating to the 'alledged court proceedings' you responded to all of them by stating you were not prepared to discuss the matter.

I have been waiting patiently and nothing has happened, I eventually contacted Teeside Court and enquired about the alledged' ongoing Court Proceedings' against me, and was informed that there was no such case scheduled, my conclusion is that you actually lied not only to me but to all of the Residents on the estate.

By your actions you have damaged my good name on the estate by announcing the above on an open forum where all of the Residents were present, and am now informing you that I require you to write to all the residents apologising for lying and besmirching my good name.

In the event that you do not follow through on the above within a reasonable time - say 2 weeks, I intend to report you to the Legal Ombusman as your lying behaviour is reprehensible given your profession and was an attempt to intimidate at the time which is unacceptable.


December 31, 2021

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