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Members: 05 October 2020

LSRA Complaints Report March – September 2020

LSRA Complaints Report March – September 2020

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) has published its second report under its independent complaints handling regime which shows it received 605 complaints about solicitors and barristers in a six month period.

The report is based on complaints made to the legal services regulator between 7 March and 6 September 2020. The statistical data in the report includes:

  • The LSRA’s Complaints and Resolutions Unit received a total of 605 complaints between 7 March and 6 September 2020. Of these, 587 related to solicitors and 18 related to barristers.
  • A total of 346 complaints (57%) alleged misconduct, with 213 (35%) of complaints about alleged inadequate legal services and a further 46 (8%) related to alleged excessive costs (overcharging).
  • A total of 169 of complaints received during the period were closed, with 96 of these deemed inadmissible and 23 withdrawn. A total of 436 complaints remain under investigation.
  • A total of 50 closed complaints were resolved informally with the assistance of LSRA complaints staff during what is known as the pre–admissibility stage – that is before the LSRA makes a determination that a complaint is admissible.
  • The Complaints and Resolutions Unit received a total of 1,271 phone calls and emails during the six month period requesting information and/or complaint forms.
  • Among the areas of legal services complained about were wills and probate, litigation, conveyancing and family law.
  • The number of complaints received in this reporting period is slightly lower than in the first five months of operation, when the LSRA received a total of 636 complaints, of which 342 related to alleged misconduct, 238 were about inadequate services, and 56 related to excessive costs.

The report highlights emerging themes in complaints and identifies areas where it may be possible to learn lessons and to raise standards. The report also includes anonymised case studies which are aimed at helping both consumers and legal service providers learn from the LSRA’s examination of individual complaints.

View the report here.