Can a successor firm be liable for an original firm’s inadequate professional service?

I'm the complaints handling partner of a successor firm. A complaint's been made about work done by a solicitor at the original firm. No work has been done on the matter since. Will we be liable for redress if they provided inadequate professional service?

The Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules provide for one firm having been succeeded by another.

Rule 2.10 provides that the successor firm take on responsibility for the acts or omissions of the original firm and any outstanding complaints against the original firm unless the Ombudsman decides that in his opinion it’s not fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.

Potential successor firms may therefore wish to take these provisions into account in any merger agreement or other forward planning arrangements.


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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