§ 38. Mr. Sutcliffe
To ask the Minister of State, Lord Chancellor's Department what progress his Department has made in reviewing the current working practices of the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors is an independent body, and its working practices are primarily a matter for the Office. There are no current plans to alter the current arrangements for handling complaints against solicitors. However, the Legal Services Ombudsman oversees the handling of complaints against members of the legal profession, and she has stated in her latest report that although the Office has made some improvements since it started operating in September 1996 there is still a long way to go. When the Ombudsman publishes her next annual report later this year, I will consider whether any further action is necessary.