Monday, July 14, 2008

Scottish Consumer Council comment on Law Society reduction of time on complaints against crooked lawyers

The Law Society of Scotland are reducing the time for clients to make a complaint against their solicitor from two years to one year.

Not something which will go down well with the public, particularly given the hopes of some the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission would be a ‘new broom’.

Comment on the announcement by the Law Society of Scotland that the deadline for making complaints to them is to reduce to one year as part of the transition to the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

Sarah O'Neill, Legal Officer at the Scottish Consumer Council said it was essential that people who have a grievance don't delay lodging their complaint:

"The new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission will be able to award four times as much in compensation where cases are found against a solicitor as the Law Society of Scotland, but there's no point hanging on until October to bring your case in the belief that you’ll get a better outcome under the new SLCC.

"Any complaints relating to work handed to a solicitor for the first time up to and including 30th September 2008 will still be dealt with by the Law Society, which will continue to handle all pre October 2008 cases right up until 2010.

"We accept that there has to be a cut-off and that the Law Society needs to be able to manage the transition of its work to the new body. It's not ideal, though, as there will be cases where solicitors are instructed before October but problems only arise or become apparent long after that date, where clients may be justified in expecting their case to be dealt with under the new, potentially more generous SLCC system."

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