Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

69.

Establishment and membership of Complaints Committee

69.  (1) The Authority shall establish a committee, to be known as the Complaints Committee, for the purpose of considering and investigating complaints referred to it by the Authority under section 68 .

(2) A member of the Complaints Committee shall—

(a) hold office for a period of 4 years from the date of his or her appointment, and

(b) be eligible for reappointment as a member of the Complaints Committee, provided that he or she does not hold office for periods the aggregate of which exceeds 8 years.

(3) The Complaints Committee shall be appointed by the Authority and shall consist of not more than 27 members of whom—

(a) the majority shall be lay persons,

(b) not fewer than 8 shall be persons nominated by the Law Society, each of whom has practised as a solicitor for more than 10 years, and

(c) not fewer than 4 shall be persons nominated by the Bar Council, each of whom has practised in the State as a barrister for more than 10 years.

(4) In appointing lay persons to be members of the Complaints Committee the Authority shall ensure that those members are persons who—

(a) are independent of the professional bodies, and

(b) have expertise in or knowledge of—

(i) the provision of legal services,

(ii) the maintenance of standards in a profession (including those regulated by a statutory body),

(iii) the investigation and consideration of complaints relating to services, or

(iv) the interests of consumers of legal services.

(5) The Complaints Committee shall act in divisions of not less than 3 members and not more than 5 members (in this Act referred to as a “Divisional Committee”).

(6) A Divisional Committee shall consist of an uneven number of members.

(7) Each Divisional Committee shall have a majority of lay members.

(8) The chairperson of each Divisional Committee shall be one of the lay members of that Divisional Committee.

(9) The chief executive shall make arrangements for the provision of such administrative and secretarial support to each Divisional Committee as he or she considers necessary.

(10) Subject to subsections (6) and (7), where a complaint relates to a solicitor—

(a) in a case where the Divisional Committee consists of 3 members, one of the members of the Divisional Committee shall be a solicitor,

(b) in a case where the Divisional Committee consists of 5 members, 2 of the members of the Divisional Committee shall be solicitors.

(11) Subject to subsections (6) and (7), where a complaint relates to a barrister—

(a) in a case where the Divisional Committee consists of 3 members, one of the members of the Divisional Committee shall be a barrister,

(b) in a case where the Divisional Committee consists of 5 members, 2 of the members of the Divisional Committee shall be barristers.