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Solicitors Act 1974

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Lay observers

45Investigation by lay observers of Society's treatment of complaints

(1)The Lord Chancellor may, if he thinks fit, appoint one or more persons (in this section referred to as " lay observers ") to examine any written allegation made by or on behalf of a member of the public concerning the Society's treatment of a complaint about a solicitor or an employee of a solicitor made to the Society by that member of the public or on his behalf.

(2)No solicitor or barrister shall be appointed a lay observer.

(3)A lay observer shall hold and vacate his office in accordance with the terms of his appointment, and shall, on ceasing to hold office, be eligible for re-appointment.

(4)The Lord Chancellor may give general directions to lay observers about the scope and discharge of their functions, and shall publish any such directions.

(5)The Society shall consider any report or recommendation which it receives from a lay observer and shall notify him of any action which it has taken in consequence.

(6)The Lord Chancellor may appoint staff for lay observers.

(7)Remuneration for lay observers and their staff and any other expenses of lay observers shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament.

(8)In determining the numbers, terms of employment and remuneration of lay observers and their staff and any amount payable by way of expenses under subsection (7), the Lord Chancellor shall act only with the approval of the Minister for the Civil Service.

(9)The Society shall furnish a lay observer with such information as he may from time to time reasonably require.

(10)The Lord Chancellor shall direct the submission to him of annual reports by lay observers on the discharge of the functions conferred on them by this section.

(11)The Lord Chancellor shall lay a copy of any report under subsection (10) before each House of Parliament.

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