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This book charts the evolution of the Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales. Established in 1990, it had a statutory remit that explicitly recognized its dual responsibility for consumer dispute resolution and democratic accountability. It was replaced in 2010 by a very different type of ombudsman institution. The book describes how the Ombudsman reconciled its different roles and how far it succeeded in changing the mentality of the legal profession.
The authors relate the Ombudsman's successes and failures to current debates facing the ombudsman and regulatory community, and highlight the continuing potential of the ombudsman institution. The ombudsman institution emerges as a 'third way' between the courts and various forms of alternative dispute resolution, and as a creative and democratic means of responding to public grievance.