Complaining to a lawyer
Before we can take your complaint, we must usually be satisfied that you have given the lawyer or firm a reasonable opportunity to deal with the complaint themselves. We usually need to see that you’ve sent a complaint, in writing, to the lawyer or the firm. This applies whether they acted for you or for another person. We call this the 'prematurity' test.
Please read the tips below, to help you write your complaint for the lawyer or firm. If you’d like to, you can copy and adjust our sample letter into your own letter or email.
Before you make your complaint
Think about all the points you want to make in your complaint. You’ll need to set out what you’re unhappy about and why it wasn’t what you were expecting.
Consider what you want to happen
Think about what you’d like the lawyer or firm to do, to put things right, and include this in your letter or email.
If you’re not happy with the fees you’ve been charged, read our guidance on fees.
Your letter or email should clearly set out each part of your complaint, to allow the lawyer or firm to understand it. We suggest that you:
- Stick to the facts, and be specific about the dates
- Describe what happened as simply and clearly as possible
- Describe what you think the lawyer or firm should have done
- Say what you would like the lawyer or firm to do now
Keep a copy of the correspondence
Keep a copy of your letter or email of complaint, the lawyer or firm’s response, and notes of any phone calls that followed your complaint.
Allow 28 days for the lawyer or firm to respond
Allow the lawyer or firm at least 28 days to investigate and answer your complaint.
What if you're not satisfied with the response?
If you don’t receive an answer after 28 days, or if you’re not happy with the lawyer or firm’s answer, you can then bring your complaint to the SLCC. Time limits apply to this step.
You can access our online complaint form on our website or ask us to send you a printed form. Please remember to attach your letter to the firm, plus their answer and any other relevant letters, when you submit the form to us