Legal Services Act 2007 Explanatory Notes

Section 149: Enforcement of requirements to provide information or produce documents

369.This section applies if a party, other than the authorised person (the defaulter), has failed to co-operate with an ombudsman as required by section 147. In such a case, the ombudsman may inform the court (which in this case means the High Court –section 149(7)) of the person’s failure to comply with the request for information. However (by virtue of sections 149(5) and 149(6)), where the defaulter is an authorised person, the ombudsman must first be satisfied that each relevant authorising body to which a report was made under section 148 has been given a reasonable opportunity to take action, and that the defaulter has continued to be in default. The High Court may thereupon enquire into the case, and if satisfied that the defaulter has failed without reasonable excuse to comply with the requirement, it may deal with the defaulter (and, in the case of bodies corporate and other legal persons, any directors or similar persons) as if the defaulter were in contempt (section 149(4)).

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