A new edition of its Family Law Consumer Guide has been published today by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

First published in 2015, the guide is aimed at helping consumers be aware of the common problems which give rise to complaints and how to avoid these. Complaints arising from family law transactions account for about one in five of the complaints about legal practitioners received by the Commission.

The short guide is part of a series designed to help avoid complaints arising, and the first in a new consumer-friendly style which takes on board recommendations made by the SLCC's consumer panel. It offers 10 top tips for consumers based on real complaints received by the SLCC, under headings including the initial meeting, costs, timescales, communication, openness, going to court, and when things go wrong.

Launching the guide, the SLCC’s head of oversight, David Buchanan-Cook commented: “The aim is to inform and empower consumers, ensuring that their family law case goes as smoothly as possible.”

He added: “Looking at the cause of complaints and seeking to prevent these is the most efficient and effective way to address this trend. Prevention, as we know, is better than cure.”

Welcoming the guide, Carol Brennan, chair of the consumer panel, said: "The consumer panel is about ensuring that consumers also have a strong voice speaking for them and this guide will greatly help them.”

The Family Law Consumer Guide will be followed by a guide for legal practitioners.

Click here to view the consumer guide.