Complaints

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If you are not satisfied with a solicitor or a solicitor's firm, you need to raise your concerns with the firm in the first instance. Solicitors' firms have a client relations manager who will listen to your problem and try to resolve it. This is usually the quickest and most effective way of sorting out the problem.

You can contact the firm and ask for the name of the client relations manager or contact the Society's Public Communications team on 0131 226 7411 for that information.

If the problem is not resolved with the client relations manager you may submit a formal complaint to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), which is the gateway for all complaints against solicitors in Scotland. The Law Society cannot accept complaints directly from members of the public or the profession. The SLCC can be contacted by telephone at 0131 201 2130, by e-mail at enquiries@scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk, or by post at The Stamp Office, 10 - 14 Waterloo Place, EDINBURGH EH1 3EG.  More information can be obtained at the SLCC's website.

Following a change in the law in 2008 the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission has been the single gateway for all complaints about legal practitioners in Scotland. The SLCC determines the nature of the complaint and if the complaint concerns the conduct of a solicitor then this will be passed to the Law Society to deal with. Complaints regarding the service provided by a solicitor or firm of solicitors are dealt with solely by the SLCC.

For more information on the process of complaining about a solicitor, see our complaints page.

No, neither the Law Society nor the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission make any charge for investigating complaints against solicitors.

For more information on the process of complaining about a solicitor, see our complaints page.

If there are elements of both service and conduct in a complaint, the Law Society and the SLCC will deal with each part of the complaint accordingly – the SLCC will investigate the service part, and the Law Society will investigate the conduct part. These types of complaints are known as "hybrid" complaints.

For more information on the process of complaining about a solicitor, see our complaints page.

The Client Relations Manager (CRM) of a solicitors' firm is a person appointed by the firm to deal with complaints or concerns about the actions of the firm or its staff. You should speak to the CRM before raising a formal complaint with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as resolving the matter internally is often quicker, easier and more effective.

Find out more about the Client Relations Manager.

Yes, it's possible to complain about the actions of a solicitor who does not act for you. Complaints of this nature require to be submitted to the SLCC in the same way as all other solicitor complaints. Where the complaint relates to the service being provided by the solicitor to his or her own client, the SLCC will deal with it; where the complaint relates to the solicitor's professional conduct, it will be referred to the Law Society to investigate.

For more information on the process of complaining about a solicitor, see our complaints page.

We aim to investigate all complaints as quickly as possible, but our investigations require to be thorough, and to comply with the law. Our target is to complete our investigation within 8 months from the date on which the complaint is referred to us by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. Straightforward investigations will often be completed in a quicker time, but more complicated investigations can take longer than that.

For more information on the process of complaining about a solicitor, see our complaints page.

The Law Society has the power to make findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct, or to prosecute complaints of professional misconduct to the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal (SSDT).

If, after investigation, the Law Society upholds a conduct complaint as unsatisfactory professional conduct, it has the power to censure the solicitor, to direct the solicitor to undergo further training, to impose a fine, or to award compensation of up to £5,000 to the complainer.

If, after a prosecution, the SSDT finds a solicitor guilty of professional misconduct, it has the power to censure the solicitor, to impose a fine, to award compensation of up to £5,000 to the complainer, to impose restrictions on the solicitor's practising certificate, to suspend the solicitor from practise, or to strike the solicitor's name from the roll of solicitors.

For more information on the process of complaining about a solicitor, see our complaints page.

Yes, you can make a complaint about a firm which is no longer trading or a solicitor who is no longer practising. The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission has time limits for accepting complaints, and will be able to advise you if your complaint has been made in time.

For more information on the process of complaining about a solicitor, see our complaints page.

Neither the Law Society nor the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission has the power to investigate complaints raised about a Sheriff or Judge in relation to the way they have handled court proceedings. If you wish to complain about the personal conduct of a Sheriff or a Judge either inside or outside of the court, you should write to:

The Executive Director

Judicial Office for Scotland

Parliament House

Edinburgh

EH1 1RQ

or by e-mail to judicialofficeforscotland@scotcourts.gov.uk. Further information can be obtained at the Judiciary of Scotland website.

 

Neither the Law Society nor the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission have the power to investigate allegations of criminal activity by a solicitor. These should be reported to the police.

If the Crown Counsel or Procurator Fiscal is an enrolled solicitor, then complaints may be raised against them with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC). If the SLCC decides that there is an eligible conduct complaint, then it will be referred to the Law Society for investigation.

However, neither the Law Society nor the SLCC can consider complaints about decisions made by Crown Counsel or a Procurator Fiscal in relation to prosecuting a crime or investigating a death. Legislation provides that the exercise of discretion by Crown Counsel or a Procurator Fiscal in relation to prosecuting a crime or investigating a death cannot be considered as a complaint.

Yes, you can complain about the service you have received from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.  The SLCC has a process for dealing with complaints about the service it has provided. For more information, please refer to the SLCC's website.

If you wish to challenge a decision the SLCC has made regarding your complaint, then you must lodge an appeal with the Court of Session. There will ordinarily be strict time limits for doing so. The Court of Session may be contacted by post at:

The Court of Session

Inner House & Extracts Department

General Department

1 Parliament Square

Edinburgh

EH1 1RQ

or by telephone at 0131 240 6748

 

Yes, you can complain about the Law Society's handling of your complaint against a solicitor, or about the actions of its employees.

Complaints about the handling of complaints by the Law Society are investigated by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. A Handling Complaint Form can be obtained from the SLCC's website. 

Complaints about the actions of employees of the Law Society should be submitted to

Lorna Jack
Chief Executive
The Law Society of Scotland
Atria One,
144 Morrison Street,
Edinburgh
EH3 8EX



or by e-mail to lornajack@lawscot.org.uk

View more information about the Law Society's standards, and how to make a complaint.

The Law Society investigates conduct complaints against Scottish solicitors and has the power to determine if a solicitor’s conduct amounts to unsatisfactory professional conduct (UPC). The Society has a searchable database of a selection of UPC decisions taken by its Professional Conduct Sub-committees.

The Society can also prosecute solicitors before the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) for serious conduct matters. The SSDT is independent of both the Law Society and the SLCC. Its findings are published on its website. You can contact the SSDT by post at:

Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal

Unit 3.5 The Granary Business Centre

Coal Road

Cupar

Fife

KY15 5YQ