The Office of the Legal Services Ombud (“OLSO”) is an organisation established in terms of Section 45 of the Legal Practice Act, 2014 (Act 28 of 2014).
The Legal Services Ombud (“Ombud”) is appointed by the President of the Republic of SA in terms of Section 47 of the Legal Practice Act, 2014 (Act 28 of 2014).
The President appoints a retired judge to be the Ombud. The Ombud is appointed for a term of 7 years renewable for another 7 years. Judge Siraj Desai has been appointed as the first Ombud in December 2020.
The OLSO became officially operational on the 15th of June 2022. The OLSO is an independent and impartial body subject only to the Constitution and the law.
It is an oversight body mandated to advance and safeguard the independence and integrity of the legal profession.
The OLSO deals with complaints against legal practitioners and the Legal Practice Council (“LPC”) which falls within its mandate.
The LPC is established in terms of Section 4 of the Legal Practice Act, 2014 (Act 28 of 2014. Each province within the Republic has a provincial council.
The LPC is the administrative and regulatory body of all legal practitioners. The OLSO is an oversight body for the legal profession and is empowered to investigate on own initiative or on receipt of a complaint any alleged:
which the Ombud considers may affect the integrity and independence of the legal profession and public perception in respect thereof.
Complaints of alleged professional misconduct against legal practitioners and / or candidate legal practitioners in respect of the rendering of legal services, must first be lodged with the provincial LPC wherein you reside for assistance.
If as a complainant, you are dissatisfied with the conduct of the LPC you MAY approach the OLSO for assistance.
This document does not purport to serve as legal advice. The accuracy of this document can only be verified by the Office of the Legal Services Ombud.
The information contained herein is for information purposes and guidance and not to be considered to be a legal reference. The information contained herein does not replace nor supersede any legislation.
The Office of the Legal Services Ombud does not accept any liability due to any loss, damages, costs and expenses, which may be sustained or incurred directly or indirectly as a result of any error or omission contained in this document.
A reader in doubt regarding any aspect of the information contained herein, is advised to refer to the relevant legislation or to seek a formal opinion from a suitably qualified individual or to call the Office of the Legal Services Ombud. .
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