Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

51.

Complaints under Part 6

51.  (1) A client of a legal practitioner, or person acting on behalf of such a client, may make a complaint to the Authority in respect of a legal practitioner where the client considers that—

(a) the legal services provided to the client by the legal practitioner were or are of an inadequate standard, or

(b) an amount of costs sought by the legal practitioner in respect of legal services provided to the client by the legal practitioner was or is excessive.

(2) A person may make a complaint to the Authority in respect of a legal practitioner where the person considers that an act or omission of the legal practitioner constitutes misconduct.

(3) Subject to section 52 , on or after the coming into operation of this Part, a complaint may be made to the Authority only.

(4) An officer of the Authority, having considered an interim report or a report of an inspector under Part 3 , may make a complaint under subsection (2) in respect of the legal practitioner concerned.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), where the Law Society, in the performance by it of its functions under the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015, forms the opinion that an act or omission of a solicitor constitutes misconduct, it shall, in such manner as may be prescribed, notify the Authority of its opinion, and such notification shall be deemed to be a complaint made by the Law Society under subsection (2).

(6) Subsection (5) shall not apply where—

(a) the opinion of the Law Society is that the act or omission concerned constitutes a breach of the Solicitors Accounts Regulations, or

(b) the Law Society is investigating, or proposes to investigate, a suspected breach of the Solicitors Accounts Regulations and is of the opinion that the circumstances of the act or omission means that it should be investigated by it as part of the investigation of the suspected breach.

(7) The Authority, on receipt of a complaint that is made in respect of a solicitor (other than a complaint made by the Law Society), shall notify the Law Society of the complaint, which notification shall be accompanied by any documents relating to the complaint that are submitted by the complainant.

(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the power of the Authority to investigate an act or omission of a legal practitioner where no complaint has been received by it in relation to that legal practitioner.

(9) This section and section 52 shall not operate to prevent the Authority or a person who is aggrieved by an act or omission of a legal practitioner seeking assistance from another person with a view to resolving the matter to which a complaint relates.

(10) A complaint shall be made in writing and in accordance with this Part and regulations under section 55 .

(11) This section is subject to section 58 .