The legal quango set up in Birmingham earlier this year has formally started to recruit the first of its full-time staff.
The Office for Legal Complaints, based at Baskerville House, said it had started interviews for the first new joiners at what will eventually be an office employing about 350 people.
And the organisation said it would not let a lapse by the outgoing government hold up the plans.
A spokeswoman for the OLC said: “We have actually started our selection today, so hopefully after the next six weeks, that’ll be when our recruitment finishes. It’s being done in stages. We are looking for, come October, about 250 people to be here. The full 350 will be here next year. After six weeks there should be about 180 people here, although they obviously can’t all start straight away.”
She said there had been a “big question mark” thrown up because the Labour government had not formally approved the OLC’s plans to start operating.
She added: “Someone in government should have signed a form before the election, but they didn’t.
“So now the Government has changed the new minister will have to do it in theory. But we’re not expecting any problems with this, all three main parties were behind the legal plans, and so it should be going ahead as normal.”
She added it was not yet certain when the quango would formally start considering cases, but it hoped to go ahead before the end of the year.
And the quango said it did not expect to be affected by the £325 million budget cuts imposed on the Ministry of Justice by the new Government, because it was largely funded by the legal sector itself.
The Office for Legal Complaints was set up by the previous administration as part of a shake-up of the way the legal sector was monitored.
“It was one of the changes specified in the Legal Services Act 2007. The OLC will be investigating complaints made against lawyers, and created the new role of Legal Ombudsman.
The first Legal Ombudsman is Adam Sampson, whose appointment was announced at the start of the year. Mr Sampson had previously spend six years as chief executive of the homelessness charity Shelter. He was chosen by the board of the Office for Legal Complaints, which includes local businessman Brian Woods-Scawen.
Since his appointment, Mr Sampson has been working with around a dozen fellow employees of the OLC to set up the new office at the flagship site in Centenary Square.
When the office is complete it will be the culmination of years of planning for the people behind the quango. At one point it looked as though there might be a disruption to the opening of the office after the Law Society took legal action against the service.
The society claimed it was breaching the rights of people at the Legal Complaints Service in Leamington Spa, which had its functions replaced by the Office for Legal Complaints.
But the recruitment drive was approved in the High Court, although Mr Sampson said that he wanted and expected to keep on many of the staff from Leamington in the new office. Birmingham was chosen from a shortlist of West Midlands locations for the OLC office.
The deal to take 40,000 sq ft of space at the Baskerville House site was one of the most high-profile property deals of the last year.