5.1.1 In this rule 5, unless the context otherwise requires terms listed in the first column of rule 5.1.1 shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in the second column of that rule:

Term

Definition

practice unit

as defined in Schedule 1 but including, for the purposes of rules 5.2.4, 5.2.5, 5.2.6, 5.4.2 and 5.5, a practice unit which is dissolved or ceases to carry on business

 

manager

as defined in Schedule 1 but including, for the purposes of rules 5.2.4, 5.2.5, 5.2.6 and 5.4.2, a person who was such a manager in a practice unit which is dissolved or ceases to carry on business

 

5.2.1 By each date set out in rule 5.2.2 a practice unit shall designate one of its managers as its Client Relations Manager, who shall be responsible for dealing with complaints made to that practice unit.

5.2.2 A practice unit shall designate a person in terms of rule 5.2.1 within 28 days of-

(a) the date of its commencing practice on its own account; and

(b) every subsequent date when the office of Client Relations Manager in the practice unit becomes vacant.

5.2.3 A practice unit which is a regulated person who is a sole practitioner at any date referred to in 5.2.2 shall be deemed to have designated that regulated person as its Client Relations Manager at that date.

5.2.4 In the event of dissolution or cessation of the business of a practice unit, that practice unit shall, within 28 days after the date of dissolution or cessation (whichever is the earlier), designate one of its managers as its Client Relations Manager and notify the Council in writing of the information set out in rule 5.4.1 in, or substantially in, such form as may be prescribed from time to time by the Council.

5.2.5 Until a practice unitdesignates a Client Relations Manager and notifies the Council in accordance with rule 5.2.4, or if it does not so designate and notify, the Client Relations Manager designated by that practice unit in terms of rule 5.2.1 shall, notwithstanding the dissolution or cessation of business, continue to be responsible for dealing with complaints made against that practice unit, whether they have been made before or after the dissolution or cessation.

5.2.6 A Client Relations Manager responsible in terms of rule 5.2.4 or 5.2.5 for dealing with complaints made against a practice unit shall continue to be responsible for:

(a) complaints made in the period of two years after the date of dissolution or cessation of that practice unit; and

(b) complaints made before that date

until such date as those complaints are concluded.

5.3.1 Where a practice unit has more than one place of business, it may designate a Client Relations Manager in respect of each place of business. Each Client Relations Manager shall be responsible for dealing with complaints in relation to a specified place or places of business.

5.3.2 No practice unit may designate more than one Client Relations Manager in respect of any place of business.

5.3.3 Where a practice unit has two or more Client Relations Manager, it shall designate one Client Relations Manager as the lead Client Relations Manager. The lead Client Relations Manager shall be responsible for dealing with complaints in any case of doubt as to which Client Relations Manager is responsible.

5.4.1 A practice unit shall except as provided in rule 5.2.4, within 28 days of the designation of a Client Relations Manager, notify the Council in writing of the following information in, or substantially in, such form as may be prescribed from time to time by the Council:

(a) the name and address of the practice unit;

(b) the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person so designated;

(c) the address of the place(s) of business for which the person so designated is responsible;

(d) whether or not any other managers of the practice unit have been so designated;

(e) whether or not the person in respect of which the notification is given has been designated as lead Client Relations Manager for the practice unit.

5.4.2 A practice unit shall, within 28 days of any change in any of the information provided to the Council in accordance with this rule 5.4 or rule 5.2.4, notify the Council in writing of such change in, or substantially in, such form as may be prescribed from time to time by the Council.

5.5.1 A practice unit shall ensure that its Client Relations Manager or Managers maintains a central record of each complaint and the way it is dealt with.

5.5.1.1 A practice unit shall ensure that its Client Relations Manager(s):

(i) maintain(s) a central record of each complaint which it receives in writing, and the way it is dealt with, which record shall include, as a minimum for each complaint, the data fields described in rule 5.5.1.2; and

(ii) shall deliver to the Society on request, provided that not less than one year has elapsed since any previous request, a copy of the said central record within a period not exceeding 21 days from the date on which the request is made.

5.5.1.2 The data fields referred to in rule 5.5.1.1 are:

  1. File reference
  2. Date the complaint was made;
  3. Description of the substance of the complaint;
  4. Category of personnel against whom the complaint was directed (ie. unqualified; trainee; solicitor; or principal);
  5. Type of business in respect of which the complaint was made;
  6. Action taken by the practice unit in relation to the complaint;
  7. Date the complaint was closed;
  8. Whether or not the complaint was resolved;
  9. Learning outcomes from the complaint

5.5.2 A practice unit shall ensure that the procedure to be followed by it when handling complaints by clients, former clients or third parties is set out in writing.

5.5.3 Any client or former client of a practice unit who requests a copy of the procedure referred to in rule 5.5.2 from that practice unit, or any other person who makes such a request in writing shall be supplied with a copy of it within 28 days of such request.

5.5.3.1 A practice unit shall, on receipt of any complaint from a person who is not its client, notify that person in writing of that person's right to make a complaint to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, which notification shall include current contact details of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.