The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission has approved a 12.5% increase in the annual levy Scottish solicitors pay to fund the system which deals with complaints against them. The rise, approved last week by the SLCC’s Board, follows a significant growth in the numbers of complaints about lawyers and costs coming from recent court rulings and the ongoing uncertainty they have caused.
"We are obviously disappointed at the stance taken by the Law Society of Scotland. The underlying reason for the proposed levy increase is a 12% rise in complaints against lawyers over the past year, many of which are complex cases that take significant resources to resolve. After five years of SLCC discounting fees by using reserves we now have no choice but to increase it in order to continue serving the public properly."
The SLCC welcomes the independent review of legal aid announced by the Scottish Government.
The SLCC has welcomed the Scottish Government’s Draft Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill, and made a number of comments to promote further discussion.
Scotland’s independent body for complaints about lawyers has called on members of the public and legal professionals to work with it on shaping how legal disputes are handled. The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) today launched a consultation on its Operating Plan and budget for 2017/18 – this follows the launch last year of its strategy which sets out the priorities of the Commission up to June 2020.
Four new SLCC board member appointments have been announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson. The appointments, of two lawyer members and two non-lawyer members, are for five years and follow on from three previous appointments in 2016.
In December 2016, the SLCC was successful in defending three ‘leave to appeal’ cases in the Inner House of the Court Session. The cases related to three complaints made to the SLCC, raised by two different complainers.
The SLCC has announced changes to the time limits for people making a complaint about a lawyer and/ or the adequacy of legal services in Scotland.
The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission welcomes the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s final report on the legal services market study for England and Wales.
The Law Society of Scotland has announced its intention to take legal action over our categorisation of certain complaints, which had formerly been ‘hybrids’. This categorisation was carried out in the wake of a decision by the Inner House of the Court of Session that a single issue of complaint cannot be a ‘hybrid’- that is, contain elements of both conduct and inadequate professional service. This meant many valid complaints had no legal categorisation, and needed to be correctly categorised. We are disappointed in the Law Society of Scotland’s response, especially when in the Court of Session case the Society had positively supported the SLCC and helped explain to the Court that this way of classifying complaints had been in practice for some 30 years.
The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) has published its Annual Report highlighting activity in the last year including improved operational performance, the finalisation of a new strategy and the publication of proposals for legislative reform. The Annual Report was laid before the Scottish Parliament, and covers the period from July 2015 to June 2016. It reports on complaints made to the SLCC, Scotland’s gateway for complaints about lawyers.
The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) has launched guidance to help newly qualified solicitors improve complaint handling. The guide, developed with the help of the Scottish Young Lawyers Association (SYLA), and based on the results of a questionnaire which the two organisations jointly issued to SYLA members earlier this year, is targeted at solicitors who are new to the profession. It is hoped that this guidance will provide practical tips to make newly qualified solicitors better equipped to deal with a complaint, should one be made.