The Law Society has warned that the Legal Ombudsman may struggle to secure compensation for complainants when it assumes responsibility for claims management companies (CMCs) from 28 January.

The Society said it supported extending the ombudsman’s jurisdiction but has warned that differences between law firms and CMCs mean enforcement will be difficult.

In a letter to the Ministry of Justice, Law Society director of policy Mark Stobbs points out that, unlike solicitors, CMCs need insurance only if they undertake personal injury work.

He said: ‘The unstable nature of the claims management market and this lack of consumer protection means that complainants may not receive compensation they are entitled to.’

A spokesman for the ombudsman said it will have the same powers available as it has for lawyers.