House of Commons Library

Complaints against solicitors and other lawyers

Published Monday, June 12, 2017

This Commons Library briefing paper deals with the current procedure and qualifying criteria for making complaints against solicitors and other lawyers across the United Kingdom.

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This briefing paper deals with the current procedure and qualifying criteria for making complaints against solicitors and other lawyers across the United Kingdom. 

In each jurisdiction, anyone who is dissatisfied with the service provided by their lawyer should first complain directly to them.

England and Wales

The Legal Ombudsman is responsible for dealing with complaints against lawyers registered in England and Wales. 

Scotland

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission deals with complaints against legal practitioners in Scotland.  

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the Law Society of Northern Ireland deals with complaints against solicitors, and the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar Council of Northern Ireland considers complaints against barristers. The Legal Complaints and Regulation Act (NI) 2016 provides for a new complaints process which will be led by lay people, and not by legal professionals.

On 20 February 2017, the Department of Finance stated that the new structures for handling complaints against the legal profession were expected to come into effect later in 2017.

 

 

Commons Briefing papers SN03762

Author: Catherine Fairbairn

Topic: Legal profession

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