Guidance & Advice
Under Section 40 of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, the SLCC may issue guidance in the form of "Guidance and Best Practice Notes" and make recommendations about standards expected in relation to systems operated by practitioners for dealing with complaints.
Whilst this guidance is not mandatory, non-compliance will be taken into account where a complaint has been made. Practitioners may be required to justify any departure from this guidance or to provide an explanation about why the guidance should not apply in any particular circumstances. Any alleged failure to follow the guidance may result in a service or conduct complaint being admitted for investigation.
The SLCC also issues general "Advice and Information" regarding complaint handling. This is subdivided into two areas:
A. Dealing with complaints yourself and complaint avoidance; and
B. Dealing with complaints made to the SLCC.
We hope this advice and information will be of assistance to practitioners when dealing with complaints and taking steps to avoid situations which could result in complaints being made.
Meeting the SLCC's expectations
All practitioners, not just Client Relations Managers, should ensure that they are aware of the guidance and advice and information issued by both the SLCC and the relevant professional organisation when dealing with all expressions of dissatisfaction.
Client Relations Managers are expected to ensure that all practitioners within the firm are made aware of the SLCC's Guidance and Best Practice Notes and any Advice and Information. Where appropriate, steps should be taken to update the existing written complaints handling procedures and necessary changes made to complaint handling processes.
Details of the SLCC's current "Guidance and Best Practice Notes" and "Advice and Information" can be found by visiting the linked pages in the navigation on the right. As and when new "Guidance and Best Practice Notes" are issued, the relevant professional organisations will be asked to communicate the information directly to practitioners.