Complaints system works

You correctly report that the proposal to introduce a jurisdiction of inadequate professional services into the Bar complaints system has cost implications. But it has been an important and successfully achieved objective for the Bar Council that the new system should not have an unexpected impact on the level of Bar subscriptions.

While the level of complaints on the grounds of professional misconduct has been increasing, we believe that the publicity about the complaints system has already resulted in an increase in complaints, some of which may fall into the inadequate professional services jurisdiction, once it is established. That fact, together with the ability of the new Lay Commissioner to dismiss frivolous complaints early and settle minor ones quickly, makes us hopeful that the new system will be both efficient and streamlined.

The Bar Council has decided to review the new system after 12 months of operation. That will give us the opportunity to take proper account of any hitherto unanticipated impact of the expanded jurisdiction on the resources of the Bar Council, and to make appropriate adjustment to ensure that there is no adverse impact on the profession.

Niall Morrison

Chief Executive

General Council of the Bar.