Explanatory Memorandum

Legal Complaints and Regulation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

2016 CHAPTER 14

11th April 2016

Commentary on Sections

Section 29: Complaints procedures for solicitors

Section 29 relates to the regulatory arrangements for the handling of complaints against solicitors. It will place on a statutory footing that all solicitors must have an in-house complaints-handling process. It will also permit the Law Society to seek information relating to the numbers of complaints made in-house to individual solicitors’ practices.

Subsection (1) provides that the Law Society for Northern Ireland must make provision requiring each solicitor to participate in, or be subject to, procedures for the resolution of complaints. It also requires solicitors to establish and maintain such procedures.

Subsection (2) provides that the Law Society must make regulations requiring every solicitor to provide the Law Society with information relating to relevant complaints made in-house.

Subsection (3) and (4) require the Law Society to consult the Commissioner before making such provisions, and for the Lord Chief Justice to concur with any regulations made by the Society in relation to complaints procedures for solicitors

Subsection (4) defines a relevant complaint in relation to a solicitor, as being one which relates to the professional services provided by a solicitor and which may be made to the Law Society Complaints Committee established under section 30.