The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) may have to rejig its procedures after an independent audit by accountants Ernst & Young.
E&Y suggests there should be "a significant input of resources", including recruiting 23 permanent and 82 temporary caseworkers. It estimates that the changes will cost the OSS nearly u6m.
Kamlesh Bahl, deputy vice president of the Law Society, says: "We are recommending that the council adopt [the proposals]. It is definitely a way forward but will require quite a change in attitude."
The OSS's Interim Executive Committee, under pressure from the Lord Chan- cellor, the Legal Services Ombudsman and the profession as a whole, commissioned the audit in February.
A taskforce will be set up to ensure that the proposals are implemented within the proposed 18-month timescale.
Proposals include: tougher procedures requiring firms to handle inadequate professional service complaints in-house using best practice; the use of sanctions against firms that fail to do so; and the requirement for the OSS to use discretion when investigating a defined set of conduct cases where an alternative legal remedy is available.