Ombudsman resigns over £20,000 train fares

Adam Sampson continued to live in London when he took up the post based in Birmingham

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The head of the Government’s legal complaints ombudsman was inappropriately paid £20,000 in travel expenses so he could live in London and commute to work in Birmingham, the National Audit Office has concluded.

In a damming the report the NAO refused to sign off the accounts of Adam Sampson, the Legal Ombudsman, after an investigation found the travel arrangement had been “novel and contentious”.

As a result of the investigation, Mr Sampson has resigned and financial responsibility for the organisation that deals with complaints about lawyers has passed to the Ministry of Justice.

The investigation found that when Mr Sampson joined the organisation in 2009 he was allowed to carry on living in London while being able to claim rail fairs to and from Birmingham.

Steve Green, the chairman of the Office of Legal Complaints, which regulates the work of the Ombudsman, said: “It is important to say this is not about dishonesty or fraud as the arrangements were agreed at the time Mr Sampson took up his post.”