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Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

343

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

To ensure the operational independence of the OLC.

 


 

John Mann

 

285

 

Clause  121,  page  63,  line  11,  at end insert—

 

‘(za)    

investigate the handling of complaints by the Office for Legal

 

Complaints (complaints under this subsection include those handled on

 

behalf of the Office for Legal Complaints and those referred to Approved

 

Regulators by the Office for Legal Compliants).’.

 

John Mann

 

286

 

Clause  121,  page  63,  line  24,  at end add—

 

‘(6)    

The Board may take any steps it considers reasonably necessary to ensure the

 

OLC’s compliance with any obligations set under section 118(2)(a), (b) and (c).’.

 


 

John Mann

 

287

 

Clause  122,  page  63,  line  32,  at end insert—

 

‘(2A)    

The majority of persons appointed under paragraph 1(b) must be lay persons.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment would ensure that a majority of assistant ombudsman must be lay people.

 


 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

303

 

Parliamentary Star    

Clause  128,  page  65,  line  28,  at end insert ‘, or was a person giving legal advice or

 

assistance in the course of business but who is not otherwise covered by the provisions of

 

this Act.’.

 


 

John Mann

 

288

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  11,  at end insert—

 

‘(c)    

The provision of an independent avenue of review for complainants who

 

consider that an approved regulator’s consideration of a regulatory issue

 

was inadequate or that its determination was unreasonable.’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

344

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

John Mann

 

289

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  17,  leave out ‘may’ and insert ‘must’.

 

John Mann

 

290

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  18,  leave out ‘specified’ and insert ‘all’.

 

John Mann

 

291

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  18,  at end insert ‘in which he considers it reasonable to do

 

so’.

 

John Mann

 

292

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  22,  at end insert ‘only by the Chief Ombudsman or an

 

assistant ombudsman.’.

 

John Mann

 

293

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  25,  at end insert ‘but not, for the avoidance of any doubt,

 

to an approved regulator.’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

8

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  42,  leave out paragraph (i).

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment reverses one made in the House of Lords enabling scheme rules to make provision

 

for the award of costs in favour of the OLC against the respondent to a complaint in additional

 

circumstances to those already specified in Clause 133(3).

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

228

 

Clause  133,  page  68,  line  44,  leave out from ‘complaint’ to end of line 4 on page

 

69.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To ensure it is not possible for complainants to be liable to pay costs.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

229

 

Clause  133,  page  69,  line  5,  leave out paragraph (j).

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 228.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

230

 

Clause  133,  page  69,  line  14,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

for the identity of respondents to be published.’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

345

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To prompt the OLC to make rules about identifying those legal services providers it has upheld

 

complaints against.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

9

 

Clause  133,  page  69,  line  38,  leave out ‘, (i)’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 8, removing a reference back to the provision

 

which that amendment removes.

 


 

John Mann

 

294

 

Clause  134,  page  70,  line  7,  leave out ‘any function’ and insert ‘only those

 

functions’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is intended to ensure that, in designing the scheme rules, powers of delegation

 

should be limited and decisions to delegate are not made ‘on the hoof’.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

10

 

Clause  136,  page  70,  line  37,  leave out subsections (2) to (4).

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment reverses amendments made in the House of Lords which— (a) limit the circum­

 

stances in which a complaint handling charge may be payable by the respondent to the complaint

 

and (b) require reduction, waiver or refund of charges in specific circumstances.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

231

 

Clause  136,  page  70,  line  39,  leave out paragraphs (a) to (c) and insert—

 

‘(a)    

the complaint against the respondent is determined or otherwise resolved

 

at least partially in favour of the complaint; or

 

(b)    

in the ombudsman’s in accordance with the regulatory arrangements

 

which the approved regulator has made under section 112.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This series of amendments requires the OLC to set rules enabling charges payable by respondents

 

to be reduced or waived and indicates appropriate conditions for these to apply.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

232

 

Clause  136,  page  71,  line  5,  leave out subsections (3) and (4).


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

346

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members explanatory statement for amendment 231.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

11

 

Clause  136,  page  71,  leave out line 19.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 10, removing a reference back to the provision

 

which that amendment removes.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

12

 

Clause  136,  page  71,  line  22,  leave out from ‘circumstances’ to end of line 23.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 10, removing a reference back to the provision

 

which that amendment removes.

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

233

 

Clause  137,  page  71,  line  34,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

In considering what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances, the Ombudsman

 

shall take into account the relevant levels of damages awarded by courts in similar

 

circumstances, and relevant codes of practices, professional rules, standards and

 

guidance.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is intended to give guidance to the OLC as to the way in which it should determine

 

what is ‘fair and reasonable’ when exercising its powers under the Act.

 

John Mann

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

284

 

Clause  137,  page  72,  line  25,  at end insert—

 

‘(4A)    

For the purposes of paragraphs 2(d) and (e), in the event of a respondent’s failure,

 

within a reasonable period, to act on a determination, the ombudsman may order,

 

at the expense of the respondent, the necessary rectification to be secured or

 

action to be taken by an alternative authorised person.’.

 

 



 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

347

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

234

 

Clause  138,  page  72,  line  32,  leave out ‘£20,000’ and insert ‘£100,000’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To increase the maximum amount of redress that can be awarded by the OLC ombudsman to

 

£100,000.

 

Mr Kevan Jones

 

265

 

Clause  138,  page  72,  line  32,  leave out ‘£20,000’ and insert ‘£50,000’.

 

Mr Kevan Jones

 

266

 

Clause  138,  page  72,  line  39,  leave out subsection (3).

 


 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

304

 

Parliamentary Star    

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  16,  at end insert—

 

‘(10A)    

Where a determination has become final and binding in accordance with this

 

section, the respondent may appeal to the High Court against the determination

 

or any direction made under section 137(2).’.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

321

 

Parliamentary Star    

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  16,  at end insert—

 

‘(10B)    

Where a determination has become final and binding in accordance with this

 

section, the compainant may appeal to the High Court against the determination,

 

the terms of any direction made under section 137(2), or any omission to make

 

such a direction.’.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

322

 

Parliamentary Star    

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  17,  at beginning insert ‘Subject to subsections (10A) and

 

(10B),’.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

235

 

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  19,  after ‘complaint’, insert ‘either while the ombudsman

 

is considering the complaint or’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To stop respondents from beginning or continuing legal proceedings against a complainant while


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

348

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

the OLC is considering the case (or vice versa).

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

13

 

Page  75,  line  27,  leave out Clause 143.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment leaves out Clause 143, which was inserted by amendment in the House of Lords,

 

and so reverses that amendment, which inserted provision enabling the Board to delegate to an

 

approved regulator or regulators the handling of complaints which would otherwise be deter­

 

mined under the ombudsman scheme.

 


 

Mr David Kidney

 

276

 

Clause  144,  page  76,  line  17,  leave out ‘may’ and insert ‘must’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment requires the approved regulator to report back to the OLC ombudsman on the

 

action taken in respect of a referral for consideration of disciplinary action and to require the om­

 

budsman to send a copy of the approved regulator’s report to the complainant.

 

Mr David Kidney

 

277

 

Clause  144,  page  76,  line  19,  at end insert ‘A copy of the report made to the

 

ombudsman under this section must be sent to the complainant by the ombudsman.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 276.

 

Mr David Kidney

 

298

 

Parliamentary Star    

Clause  144,  page  76,  line  30,  at end add—

 

‘(6)    

The ombudsman may, when so requested by a complainant, make a request to the

 

relevant authorising body to review the decision it has made as set out in a report

 

made under subsection (2), and may request the relevant authorising body to

 

notify it of the result of any such review.’.

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

236

 

Clause  150,  page  80,  line  4,  leave out ‘a person (“the defaulter”)’ and insert ‘an


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

349

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

authorised person’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment would ensure that the Office for Legal Complaints can enforce requirements to

 

provide information or produce documents only against an authorised person, and not against a

 

complainant.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

14

 

Clause  158,  page  83,  line  11,  leave out from ‘redress’ to end of line 13.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 13, removing a reference back to the provision

 

which that amendment removes.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

15

 

Clause  158,  page  83,  line  17,  leave out ‘and except as permitted by subsection (1)’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 13, removing a reference back to the provision

 

which that amendment removes.

 


 

John Mann

 

295

 

Clause  160,  page  84,  line  38,  at end add—

 

‘(3)    

The Secretary of State is required before authorising the repeal of those parts,

 

sections and schedules of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and the Access

 

to Justice Act 1999 (which relate respectively to the Office of the Legal Services

 

Ombudsman and the Office of the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner) to

 

satisfy himself that the interests of the consumers of legal services are being

 

adequately protected and promoted and that the new regime is providing timely,

 

high quality, effective outcomes which are consumer focused.

 

(4)    

In reaching his decision the Secretary of State must seek, and give due weight to;

 

the views of the Board, the OLC, the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner

 

and the Legal Services Ombudsman.’.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

16

 

Clause  173,  page  91,  line  25,  after ‘Act’, insert ‘or any other enactment’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment extends the power to pay grants to the Board to cover its functions under “any

 

other enactment”. This ensures that grants can be paid in respect of Board expenditure resulting


 
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