If you are unhappy with the service you received from our staff or if you feel we have not handled something properly, this section gives you information on how to complain. If you are unhappy with our decision about your complaint, please see the separate guidance, Unhappy with a decision? If you are not sure, please contact us for advice.
We aim to provide an excellent service, but we know we cannot please everyone and that sometimes a decision can disappoint because the outcome is not what was hoped for. Whatever the outcome of your case, we hope you are satisfied with the level of service we provide and the way we treat you.
We also know that, as in any organisation, things can sometimes go wrong. Please tell us if this happens, so that we can put things right and learn from any mistakes. We would like to hear from you if you feel dissatisfied with any aspect of our service. For example, if you think we have:
- treated you unfairly or rudely;
- failed to explain things clearly or listen to your concerns properly;
- caused unreasonable delays.
We take complaints about our service very seriously. We want to know if things go wrong so that we can put them right and improve our service in the future. We will deal with your complaint as set out below.
Complaints about our service
Please contact our Head of Oversight if you are dissatisfied with:
(i) the service you received from us;
(ii) our policies and processes;
(iii) the conduct of a specific member of our staff.
If you can, please write to us explaining your concerns. You can send us a letter, or you can email us at Enquiries@scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk. Clearly mark your letter or email ‘Personal - Service Delivery Complaint’. We will acknowledge your letter within 5 working days.
The Head of Oversight will ask a manager, who has nothing to do with the person or work that you are complaining about, to deal with your complaint and to respond to you. We aim to provide a full reply within 20 working days of us acknowledging your complaint. If we are going to take a little longer than 20 working days, we will contact you to let you know.
If your complaint is about a specific person’s conduct, they will be told that a complaint has been made. We might ask them for comments, but they will not be involved in looking into the complaint.
If we think that your complaint is justified, we will apologise and tell you how we will address the problem. Where relevant, we will also tell you how we plan to make sure the mistake does not happen again.
If you are still not happy when you have received our response, you can contact our Head of Oversight again. Your complaint will be reviewed by a Senior Manager. We will also look at how your complaint was dealt with at Stage 1.
Complaints about our Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Complaints about our CEO are dealt with by one of our Board Members. Please mark your letter or email ‘Personal – Service Delivery Complaint’ and send it to the Secretary to the Board.
If you are not happy with the Board Member’s response, you can ask that your complaint is reviewed again. The review will be by the Chair of the Board, who may ask someone external to the SLCC to carry out an investigation.
Complaints about Board members
If your complaint is about a Board Member, please write to our CEO, who will review your complaint and decide what the appropriate next steps are. You can write or email our CEO at Neil.Stevenson@scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk. Our CEO will contact you to let you know what action he intends to take.
If you are not content with the CEO’s response and you believe a Board Member has breached the code of conduct: (/media/56491/gov004_members_code_of_conduct_for_slcc_v02.01_2016.09.pdf) you can complain to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland - http://www.publicstandardscommissioner.org.uk/make-a-complaint/overview/
Complaints about the merits and/or outcome of a complaint about a legal practitioner are not covered by this process. If you disagree with a decision made about a legal complaint, you have a right of appeal to the Court of Session. The Service Delivery Complaint process is not an alternative way of appealing a decision.