Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

70.

Investigation of complaints

70.  (1) A Divisional Committee shall consider and investigate complaints made under this Part referred to the Complaints Committee by the Authority.

(2) Where the Authority refers a complaint to the Complaints Committee, the Authority shall furnish to the Divisional Committee concerned—

(a) a copy of the complaint and any documents relating to the complaint that have been submitted by the complainant, and

(b) a summary of the complaint.

(3) On receipt of the documents referred to in subsection (2), the Divisional Committee shall—

(a) request the legal practitioner to whom the complaint relates to furnish to the Divisional Committee, within such reasonable period as is specified by the Divisional Committee, his or her response to the complaint, and

(b) unless the legal practitioner has already been furnished with the documents concerned, furnish a copy of the documents referred to in subsection (2) to him or her.

(4) Where, in the opinion of the Divisional Committee, the response of the legal practitioner under subsection (3) indicates that he or she is not in agreement to the issuing of a direction under section 71(1)(a) or the taking of a measure under section 71(1)(b) , the Divisional Committee shall furnish a copy of the response to the complainant inviting him or her to furnish observations to the Divisional Committee in relation to the response of the legal practitioner within such a period as may be specified by the Divisional Committee.

(5) Where—

(a) the response of the legal practitioner under subsection (3) does not satisfy the Divisional Committee that it should not issue a direction under section 71(1)(a) or take a measure under section 71(1)(b) , or

(b) the legal practitioner does not furnish a response within the period specified in the notice,

the Divisional Committee shall, subject to the provisions of this Part, take such steps as it considers appropriate to investigate the complaint.

(6) For the purposes of investigating a complaint in accordance with subsection (1), the Divisional Committee—

(a) shall have due regard to information furnished to it by the Authority, the complainant and the legal practitioner,

(b) may, by notice in writing to the complainant, do one or more of the following:

(i) require the complainant to verify, by affidavit or otherwise, anything contained in the complaint;

(ii) request the complainant to supply to the Committee, within a reasonable period specified in the notice—

(I) such information relating to the complaint as is specified in the notice, or

(II) such documents relating to the complaint as it may require;

(iii) require that information requested under subparagraph (ii) be verified by affidavit or otherwise;

and

(c) may, by notice in writing to the legal practitioner the subject of the complaint require him or her to do one or more of the following:

(i) verify, by affidavit or otherwise, anything contained in his or her response under subsection (3);

(ii) supply the Committee, within a reasonable period specified in the notice, with—

(I) such information relating to the complaint as is specified in the notice, or

(II) such documents relating to the complaint as it may require;

(iii) require that information requested under subparagraph (ii) be verified by affidavit or otherwise.

(7) The complainant concerned shall comply with a notice issued to him or her by the Divisional Committee under subsection (6)(b).

(8) The legal practitioner concerned shall comply with a notice issued to him or her by the Divisional Committee under subsection (6)(c).

(9) The Divisional Committee may, having had due regard to—

(a) information furnished to it by the Authority,

(b) any information or documents provided to it by the complainant or the legal practitioner concerned under this section,

(c) any response furnished to the Divisional Committee by the legal practitioner concerned pursuant to this section, and

(d) any observations furnished by the complainant under subsection (4),

require the complainant and the legal practitioner to appear before the Committee for the purposes of the investigation of the complaint.

(10) The complainant and the legal practitioner may be represented by a person of their choice for the purposes of their appearance before the Divisional Committee and the costs of such representation, if any, shall be borne by the person who requested such representation.

(11) Where a complaint is withdrawn when it is being investigated by the Divisional Committee, the Committee may—

(a) decide that no further action be taken in relation to the matter the subject of the complaint, or

(b) proceed as if the complaint had not been withdrawn and, where it does so, shall notify the Authority, the complainant and the legal practitioner concerned of the fact.

(12) Where the Divisional Committee determines that the act or omission does not warrant the issuing of a direction under section 71(1)(a) or the taking of a measure under section 71(1)(b) , it shall so advise the complainant and the legal practitioner in writing, giving reasons for the determination.

(13) The Divisional Committee shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that—

(a) the complainant is kept informed of all decisions made by the Committee in relation to the complaint concerned,

(b) the Committee acts expeditiously, and

(c) complaints referred to it are processed in a timely manner.