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Scottish court emphasises compliance in handling complaints

Scottish court emphasises compliance in handling complaints


In a court opinion released on April 30, 2024, compliance regarding the provision of information on complaints to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) has been highlighted as paramount

While the court refrained from issuing a contempt order in response to the SLCC’s petition, it did grant the petitioner’s motion and imposed an award of expenses against the solicitor.

David Gordon, Convener of the Law Society of Scotland Regulatory Committee, emphasised the significance of maintaining a fair and efficient complaints system, ensuring that clients have recourse when issues arise and robust public protections are upheld. To reinforce existing professional standards and clarify solicitors' obligations toward the SLCC, the Law Society introduced Practice Rule B1.17 in 2023. This rule mandates solicitors to engage with the SLCC openly, promptly, and cooperatively, facilitating the commission's effective exercise of its statutory functions.

Expressing disappointment, Gordon highlighted the recurrence of solicitors being brought to court by the SLCC for failing to furnish relevant information regarding complaints. He stressed the crucial role of the SLCC in safeguarding the public interest and reiterated solicitors' obligation to cooperate with its vital endeavours. The Law Society stands ready to take appropriate action against solicitors who violate its rules, underscoring its commitment to upholding professional integrity and accountability within the legal profession.

By reinforcing compliance with regulatory standards and promoting transparency and cooperation, stakeholders aim to enhance the effectiveness and credibility of the complaints resolution process, ultimately bolstering public trust in the legal profession.