A new analysis tool to help firms to identify and reduce the common causes of complaint has been launched today by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

The new tool is intended to operate alongside Law Society of Scotland rules updated earlier this year, that require firms to maintain a complaint log, including learning outcomes from the complaint. It is designed to support firms to identify those learning outcomes when a complaint arises, and to find and implement solutions to minimise the risk of similar issues occurring in future.

It consists of an analysis form through which a firm can address the causes and impact of a complaint, what could have been done differently and what would help in future, how to implement improvements and a timetable for review.

The tool will be sent to firms who receive an upheld decision from an SLCC determination committee. Although not mandatory, the SLCC hopes firms will take the opportunity of an upheld complaint to reflect on how the issues arose, and how they could have been avoided.

It can also be obtained from the SLCC website, and as part of the wider outreach to the profession by the SLCC, which hopes firms will find it a useful addition to existing guidance.

Vicky Crichton, the SLCC’s director of Public Policy, commented: "Reflecting on the likely causes of complaint in your business, and considering how to reduce them, should form a core part of a firm’s approach to risk management. Tackling those issues will benefit the firm, as well as its current and future clients.

"Reducing the common causes of complaints also reduces the costs of complaints going into the full statutory process. This work is even more important on the light of the financial challenges the sector faces as it responds positively to the impact of COVID-19."