Chair's Blog


Complaints and confusion

Revisiting the maze At the end of August the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) withdrew its application to the Legal Services Board to become an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider under the EU Directive on Consumer ADR. This wasn’t something we were expecting, and we didn’t see this coming. The main question now is what could be the…

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The quality commodity

Does quality come at a price? Does whether you pay for something have an impact on the quality you expect? On first reading you might say yes, absolutely. The more you’ve spent on something, the more you value it and the more you therefore expect it to be of a good quality. Behavioural economics says a…

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2020: Where are we now?

Reflections on our 2020 report The Panel’s 2020 report was published back in November 2014. Since this time it feels like many of the themes in the report have come up time and time again and I’ve found myself asking the same questions. Question one: Is access to justice the same as access to a…

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Can advice be good for your health?

Guest Blog – Marlene Winfield – The information prescription Years ago, I met with a group of carers of people recently diagnosed with dementia. When I asked how supportive their GPs were, half said their GPs were useless and half said their GPs had changed their lives. The difference turned out to be giving them one telephone…

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Radical change in the court room?

CPS consult on new approach to make sure people are properly prepared to give evidence in court This week we’ve welcomed the news that the Director of Public Prosecutions is consulting on providing greater assistance to victims giving evidence at court. The consultation sets out for the first time the need to better assist victims…

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Is self-lawyering anti-lawyer?

An access to justice problem that needs a solution Is self-lawyering anti lawyer? No, of course not. And there’s a big part of me that’s tempted to just leave this blog at that. Stating what I hope is the obvious. This week we launched our major report on legal services in 2020 and how regulators…

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One step closer to open data

Many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still Back in April I wrote a blog highlighting the importance of open data and commending the Approved Regulators for agreeing to put a core and reusable set of minimum data in the public domain. One of the risks was always going to be…

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Where mediation fits in

Recovering from an intensive learning experience I’ve recently recovered from attending a course run by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in mediation skills. I say recovered because it was an extraordinarily intensive week during which I learned an incredible amount but, like most adult learning, it’s never easy going to back to the beginning…

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