The first thing we need to do is check whether you have made your complaint to us too soon. This is because we can normally only look at a complaint if the lawyer has already had an opportunity to put things right. We call this the 'prematurity assessment'. If you can show that the lawyer has had this opportunity, we can move on to the process below.
At this stage, we'll need to do some checks to assess whether we are able to go ahead and investigate your complaint. For example, we need to check that you have made your complaint within the time limits and that it is about something we can deal with.
At this stage, we will also decide if the complaint is about service or conduct (or both). Depending on this, it may be investigated by us or by the relevant professional body.
Some complaints are resolved at this stage. Others are not accepted for investigation.
We might offer you mediation if we think it's appropriate. Mediation gives you and the lawyer the opportunity to reach a fair solution with the help of a professional mediator. Mediation is free and is usually much faster than a formal investigation.