Handling complaints

A complaint can be any expression of dissatisfaction, whether verbal or in writing. Complaints can highlight problems or areas for improvement in your practice. Handling them effectively may protect your firm’s reputation and prevent future complaints.

Paragraph 8.5 of the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs requires you to treat your clients fairly, and to deal with complaints “promptly, fairly, and free of charge”.

Regulation 12 of the Provision of Services Regulation 2009 requires you to deal with complaints quickly and to make every effort to deal with them satisfactorily.

Your firm should have a written complaints procedure and effective internal processes for resolving complaints.

You must tell clients about your firm’s procedure and about their right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO).

This practice note is the Law Society’s view of good practice in this area, and is not legal advice. For more information, see the legal status.