About Us

 

The Office of Legal Services Ombud (OLSO) 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 OLSO.

The OLSO is an independent and impartial body. The OLSO is only subject to the Constitution and the law. Has neither side to take nor anyone to protect except the public interest.

The OLSO is appointed for a term of 7 years renewable for another 7 years.

The OLSO deals with complaints against legal practitioners (Attorneys and Advocates), candidate attorneys, candidate legal practitioner and those undergoing pupillage; or

Complaints by legal practitioners either against findings of the Legal Practice Council (LPC) or as an Appeal process.

The OLSO does not deal with complaints against the following persons or groups:

  • Judicial Officers (Magistrates and/or Judges) [complaints should be directed to either the Magistrates Commission or the Judicial Services Commission];
  • Public Prosecutors [complaints should be directed to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)];
  • State Attorneys [complaints should be directed to the Office of the       Solicitor-General or the Public Service Commission];
  • Health practitioners [complaints should be directed to the Health Professions Council or the Office of Health Ombudsman]; and
  • Law Enforcement Officers (Police Officer and/or Metro Police Officers) [complaints should be directed to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)]

 

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE OLSO TO THE LEGAL PRACTICE COUNCIL (LPC)?

The LPC is also established by the same Act that establishes the OLSO (Legal Practice Act, 2014 (Act 28 of 2014)). Section 4 of Chapter 2 of the Act, establishes the South African Legal Practice Council. Each Province within the Republic has a Provincial Council.

The LPC and OLSO are neither in competition nor in conflict with each other. The LPC is the administrative and regulatory body of all legal practitioners. Whereas the OLSO is the Ombud (oversight body) for the legal profession. Both offices have mandates to investigate complaints against legal practitioners.

 

WHAT IS THE MANDATE OF THE OLSO?

The scope of mandate of the OLSO is as follows:

  • Protect and promote public interests when receiving legal services from legal practitioners;
  • Make sure investigation of complaints against legal practitioners are done fairly, efficiently and effectively;
  • Promote high standards within the legal profession; and
  • Promote the independence of the legal profession.

 

WHAT IF I HAVE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A LEGAL PRACTITIONER?

Complainants are encouraged to first report the complaint with the Provincial LPC wherein you reside for assistance.

If as a complainant, you are dissatisfied with the processes or progress or findings of the complaint of the LPC, you MAY approach the OLSO for assistance.

 

CAN I APPROACH THE OLSO DIRECTLY WITH MY COMPLAINT?

A complainant may approach OLSO directly with a complaint. The OLSO may also conduct an investigation on its own initiative OR on receipt of a complaint.

It must be noted that Office of the Legal Services Ombud does not render legal advisory services. You are advised to seek legal advice from a suitably qualified individual.

 

DISCLAIMER:
This information does not purport to serve as legal advice. The accuracy of this information can only be verified by the Office of the Legal Services Ombud.
The above information is for information purposes and guidance and not to be considered to be a legal reference and 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.

Documents

 

Legislation

Forms

  • Complaint Lodging Form
    The completed complaint form can be emailed to the following emails: Tramuada@justice.gov.za or Tlegora@justice.gov.za

Speeches

 

Meet the Team

Meet the team at the Office of the Legal Services Ombud.

Judge Desai

Judge Desai
Ombud

Matsie Litheko

Matsie Litheko
Director (CEO)

Godfrey Ramoroka

Godfrey Ramoroka
Interim Head: Legal Support and Investigation

OLSO Team

Office of Legal Services Ombud (OLSO) Team.

OLSO Legal Team

Office of Legal Services Ombud (OLSO) Legal Team (Mr William Mailula, Ms Munira Balim, Ms Diana Mabasa, Ms Tshianeo Mamphaga and Ms Elana Van Zyl) withe Judge Desai and Mr Ramoroka

Contact Form

Please use this form to contact the Office of the Legal Services Ombud.

Our Address

Spooral Park Building, 2007 Lenchen Avenue South, Centurion, Pretoria
General Public enquiries and complaints can be directed to:
Tel: 010 023 5507 or 010 023 5501
Cell: 076 235 9887 or 076 235 8908
Email: VSeroka@justice.gov.za