Society responds to SLCC trends analysis
In response to the publication of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission’s report on trends in complaints against solicitors published today, Wednesday, 29 April 2015, Carole Ford, non-solicitor convener of the Law Society of Scotland Regulatory Committee, said:
“The report provides a useful analysis of the trends for conduct complaints and hybrid complaints which involve both conduct and service issues and therefore are investigated by both the Law Society and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC).
“It shows that while the overall number of complaints has dropped, from 255 conduct complaints in 2012 to 174 in 2014, more complaints are being upheld.
“The report indicates that the average time taken to investigate conduct complaints has been reduced from 36 to 30 weeks, although of course the complexity of individual complaints can vary enormously. This is reflected in the time taken to investigate them.
“Hybrid complaints, involving both conduct and service issues, take substantially longer to complete as both organisations have to carry out their own investigations. The data suggests that both the SLCC and the Law Society require a very similar length of time to investigate their respective parts of the complaint. We will continue working with the SLCC to ensure that these complaints are dealt with as efficiently as possible.
“The SLCC has also made a number of recommendations in its report which we will now consider more fully. This will include items such as the provision of guidance and information about unsatisfactory conduct, sanction awards and the role of the Law Society fiscal appointed to prosecute solicitors before the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal.
“People rely on solicitors to do a good job for them and, in the vast majority of cases, clients are happy with the advice and the level of service they receive. However when things do go wrong, it is important that members of the public can be confident that the legal complaints system in Scotland is robust and fair to both complainer and solicitor, and that the right outcome can be reached.
“We will continue to work with the SLCC to make improvements within both organisations to make sure that complaints are handled effectively and efficiently.”
The SLCC trend analysis report on conduct complaints about Scottish solicitors is available to read on its website: SLCC
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