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How to Make a Complaint About a Solicitor?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt dissatisfied with the services provided by a solicitor? Whether it’s a lack of communication, unmet expectations, or any other issue, knowing how to make a complaint about a solicitor is crucial.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process step by step and answer common questions that may arise along the way. So, let’s dive in and empower yourself with the knowledge to address any concerns effectively!

How to Make a Complaint About a Solicitor?

How to Make a Complaint About a Solicitor?

Making a complaint about a solicitor involves several steps to ensure your concerns are heard and addressed appropriately. Here’s a general guide on how to make a complaint about a solicitor:

  1. Contact the Solicitor: Before taking any formal steps, consider discussing your concerns directly with the solicitor. They may not be aware of the issue and may be willing to resolve it informally.
  2. Check the Solicitor’s Complaints Procedure: Solicitors are required to have a complaints procedure in place. This information can usually be found on their website or can be requested from their office.
  3. Put Your Complaint in Writing: If you are unsatisfied with the initial response or prefer a formal approach, write a letter detailing the issues you have faced. Be specific, provide relevant documents or evidence, and clearly state what resolution you are seeking.
  4. Contact the Legal Ombudsman: If you are still dissatisfied after following the solicitor’s internal complaints procedure, you can escalate your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. They provide a free and independent service for resolving disputes between clients and solicitors.
  5. Consider Regulatory Bodies: If your complaint relates to serious misconduct or unethical behaviour, you may also consider reporting the solicitor to their regulatory body, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the UK.
  6. Seek Legal Advice: If your complaint involves complex legal issues, consider seeking advice from another solicitor or a legal advice service to understand your options and ensure your complaint is handled effectively.

Remember to keep copies of all correspondence related to your complaint for reference. It’s important to communicate your concerns clearly and calmly throughout the process to increase the chances of a satisfactory resolution.

What Types of Issues Can I Complain About?

You can make a complaint about a solicitor for various reasons, ranging from poor service to serious misconduct. Here are some common types of issues you can complain about:

  1. Poor Communication: If the solicitor is not responding to your emails, calls, or messages in a timely manner, or if they are not keeping you updated on the progress of your case
  2. Negligence: If you believe the solicitor has made mistakes in handling your case, which have resulted in financial loss or other negative consequences
  3. Unprofessional Conduct: This can include rudeness, lack of respect, or other unprofessional behaviour by the solicitor or their staff
  4. Conflict of Interest: If you believe the solicitor has a conflict of interest that may impact their ability to represent you effectively
  5. Overcharging: If you suspect the solicitor has overcharged you for their services, or if there are unexpected or undisclosed fees
  6. Breach of confidentiality: If you believe your solicitor has disclosed confidential information without your consent
  7. Failure to Follow Instructions: If the solicitor has not followed your instructions or has acted against your best interests without justification
  8. Misconduct: This can include serious issues such as dishonesty, fraud, or other unethical behaviour

It’s essential to document any incidents or issues that have led to your complaint and provide specific details and evidence to support your claims. By clearly outlining your concerns, you increase the likelihood of a successful resolution to your complaint.

What Happens After the Society Receives My Complaint?

What Happens After the Society Receives My Complaint?

Once the society receives your complaint about a solicitor, they will acknowledge its receipt promptly. Your concerns will be carefully reviewed to determine if they fall within the regulatory body’s jurisdiction. The next steps involve gathering relevant information and documents related to your complaint.

The society will assess the seriousness of the allegations and decide whether an investigation is necessary. If an investigation is deemed necessary, you may be asked for more details or evidence to support your claim. The solicitor in question will also have the opportunity to respond to the allegations made against them.

Throughout the process, confidentiality is maintained to protect both parties involved. The aim is to reach a fair resolution that upholds professional standards and protects clients’ interests. Rest assured that your complaint will be thoroughly investigated in a timely manner.

How Long Will It Take to Investigate My Complaint?

The timeline can vary depending on the complexity of the issue and the workload of the investigating body.

Typically, investigations aim to be thorough and fair, which can take time to gather all necessary information and evidence. It’s important to allow for a reasonable timeframe for this process.

Factors like the availability of witnesses or documentation can also impact how swiftly an investigation progresses. Patience is key as these steps are essential in ensuring a comprehensive review.

While waiting for updates on your complaint, staying informed about any progress or delays from the investigating body can help manage expectations during this period. Remember that thorough investigations may require adequate time for a just resolution.

Do Any Time Limits Apply When Making a Complaint to the Society?

When it comes to making a complaint about a solicitor, time limits can be crucial. The Society typically requires complaints to be made within six months of the issue arising. However, they may consider complaints outside this timeframe if there are exceptional circumstances.

It is essential to act promptly when you have concerns about your solicitor’s conduct or performance. Delays in lodging a complaint could impact the investigation process and potentially hinder the resolution of the issue.

By adhering to the specified time limits for making a complaint, you ensure that your concerns are addressed promptly and efficiently by the regulatory body. This also helps maintain transparency and accountability within the legal profession.

If you believe you have valid reasons for submitting a complaint beyond the standard timeframe, it is advisable to provide detailed explanations supporting your request for consideration. The Society will assess each case individually and make a decision based on merit and extenuating circumstances presented.

Can I Withdraw My Complaint?

Can I Withdraw My Complaint?

Yes, you can withdraw your complaint about a solicitor if you no longer wish to pursue it. It’s important to communicate this decision promptly to the appropriate authority handling the case.

When deciding whether to withdraw your complaint, consider your reasons for doing so and weigh them against the potential outcomes of continuing with the investigation process.

Keep in mind that once a complaint is withdrawn, it may not be possible to reopen the case at a later date. Therefore, make sure you are certain about your decision before formally withdrawing your complaint.

If you have any doubts or concerns about withdrawing your complaint, don’t hesitate to seek advice from legal professionals or relevant authorities who can provide guidance on how best to proceed.

The choice to withdraw a complaint rests with you as the complainant. Take the time to evaluate all options carefully before making a final decision.


Knowing how to make a complaint about a solicitor is essential for ensuring accountability and maintaining professional standards within the legal profession. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively voice your concerns and seek resolution if you believe that a solicitor has not acted in accordance with their professional obligations.

Remember that transparency and integrity are key components of the regulatory process, and your feedback plays a vital role in upholding these values. So, don’t hesitate to take action if you have legitimate reasons to make a complaint – your participation contributes to maintaining trust and credibility in the legal system.


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