Before you come to us, you will need to be able to show that you have given the lawyer or firm a reasonable opportunity to deal with the complaint themselves. This means we usually need you to make a complaint in writing to the firm or individual before we can consider your concerns. This is the case even if the firm or lawyer wasn't acting for you directly. We call this the 'prematurity' test.
The tips and template letters below are to help you write your letter of complaint to the lawyer or firm.
Be sure of the reasons why you want to complain. Think about exactly what you want to complain about and how you will explain this.
Be sure of what you want to happen as a result of your complaint. What do you think the lawyer/firm could do in order to put things right for you? Include this in your letter of complaint.
Write to or email the lawyer /firm concerned. Your letter or email should provide as much information as is necessary for them to understand your complaint. However, it is important that you:
- stick to the facts
- try to take a neutral tone
- write in plain English
- bear in mind the practitioner’s role/powers, especially if they weren’t acting for you
- outline what it is you feel that the practitioner/firm did not do or should have done
Keep a copy of your letter or email of complaint and any response you receive, as well as any other correspondence which you exchange with the lawyer or firm in the intervening period.
Allow the lawyer or firm time to investigate and respond to your complaint. We consider 28 days to be a reasonable period of time.
In order to investigate your complaint, the lawyer or firm may require further information from you. As far as possible, you should try to cooperate with their enquiries.
If you think the response to your complaint doesn't resolve things or you don't receive any response at all, you can now bring your complaint to us if you want.
You can access our online complaint form on our website, just to remember to include your complaint and any correspondence you've had about it.