Formal guidance

Please be aware that - in the event of us dealing with a complaint about you/your firm - we will ask you how you have applied our guidance and take that into account in our decision-making.  Not following our guidance could result in an additional complaint or a higher Complaints Levy being applied.  

Solicitors dealing with complaints themselves (formal guidance)

First tier complaint handling is our formal guidance for solicitors on dealing with complaints themselves (e.g. first tier complaints). 

Prior to the publication of First tier complaint handling, our formal guidance was provided in the format of best practice notes.  These are now integrated into the consolidated guidance below but should you wish to view these best practice notes, they can be found here.

Download a PDF version here PDF First tier complaint handling (PDF, 453 KB)

The guidance above makes reference to a complaints log.  For a complaints process to be fully effective, it is important to record and collate centrally, information on complaints.  You can download our complaint log template below.  

Word Complaints log (Word, 15 KB)

PDF Complaints log (PDF, 185 KB) 


Advocates dealing with complaints themselves (formal guidance)

This guide covers six basic principles of complaints handling and three steps to effective complaint handling.  It also includes an example of a model complaint handling process for Advocates.

PDF Best practice in complaint handling - advocates (PDF, 565 KB)


Other advice and resources

In addition to our formal guidance on dealing with complaints, we have produced a number of resources designed to help practitioners, Client Relations Managers and Newly Qualified Solicitors, for example our advice on preventing complaints. You can find these in our general advice page.

We also produce guidance for legal consumers which is designed to help clients be aware of their own responsibilities and be proactive in ensuring that legal work goes smoothly.  These guides are designed to help prevent complaints through a shared understanding of responsibilities.  You can download these guides here.  

You may also be interested in signing up to CRM news - our quarterly email newsletter - which provides updates on decisions we have made and any new guidance or advice.