The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) has launched a new guide to help solicitors avoid the most common complaints.

Based on the SLCC’s experience of real cases, the brief guide outlines 10 steps which solicitors can take to avoid the most frequent complaint scenarios, with points to consider at stages from taking on new work through to seeking client feedback at the end.

The SLCC issues two distinct types of guidance: formal guidance, published under s 40 of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid Act (Scotland) Act 2007, and general advice, which is simply designed to help inform legal practitioners. The new guide falls into the second category. The SLCC has previously published more specific guidance targeted at the practice sectors of wills and executries, criminal law, and family law.

Launching the guide, Neil Stevenson, SLCC chief executive said: "Complaint-handling isn’t just about dealing with things that go wrong – it’s also about ensuring that things go right. That’s where our best practice service fits in. We want to build a culture of learning from complaints to help practitioners to avoid the most common problems."

Best practice adviser Jennifer Sinclair added: "We hold data on around 12,000 complaints, which means that we know what’s most likely to cause problems. We’re keen to share that knowledge as widely as we can. I hope that practitioners will find this guide useful – we’ve tried to make it as short and as easy to read as possible."

Click here to view the guide.