Law Soc faces £2m bill for complaints handling

The cost to the Law Society of meeting revised complaints handling targets is likely to exceed £2m, it has emerged.

Three weeks ago, Legal Services Complaints Commissioner Zahida Manzoor asked the society for an amended complaints handling proposal following an initial plan submitted in September.

The society was given until today (6 December) to hand in a revised plan with new targets, with the threat of a £1m fine if it did not meet the deadline.

Speaking exclusively to The Lawyer, chief executive Janet Paraskeva said meeting the new targets will cost “in excess” of £2m. She added that revising the plan has meant moving staff from other parts of the organisation in order to meet the deadline.

“It’s hitting the targets that’s important, otherwise there’s no point in having targets,” said Paraskeva. “We’ll need to ask the board and the council for at least another £2m to ensure we can do that.”

Paraskeva added that the society had a “good working relationship” with Manzoor and that complaints handling has been improving.

The Law Society Council will consult on the matter next week.