Law Society of Scotland trends analysis and audits
2023 report on Law Society conduct complaint timescales
In March 2023 we published a report on the time taken by the Law Society of Scotland to investigate conduct complaints remitted to it. Our analysis showed that the majority of complaints investigations were taking longer than the Law Society’s published average timescale of 12 months to complete.
The report concluded that delays in the investigation of conduct complaints carry a number of risks, including public protection issues associated with solicitors continuing to practice whilst under investigation, and complainers concluding that their complaint is not being taken seriously, which may impact public confidence in the complaints process.
We made three statutory recommendations for improvement:
- setting a realistic and achievable target timescale for the completion of conduct investigations,
- creating a plan of action to achieve the target timescale, and
- improving the transparency of communications with parties on timescales.
In June 2023 we published an update report welcoming the Law Society's commitment to improving complaint handling timescales and setting out our expectations and planned next steps.
2015 report on trends in Law Society conduct complaint handling
In 2015 we produced a report focusing on identified trends in conduct complaint handling by the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) over the previous 6 years: Conduct complaints about Scottish solicitors - Trend analysis report
The report was intended to stimulate discussion about the effectiveness of the systems for dealing with conduct complaints and highlight, in particular, where there may be room for change and improvement.
Here is the Law Society of Scotland’s response to our report: Conduct Trend Analysis - Law Society of Scotland Response