Manzoor lays down new complaints targets

New targets for handling complaints about Law Society members have been announced, promising to improve the speed and the quality of responses.

The targets were announced today by the legal services complaints commissioner Zahida Manzoor.

They include reducing the number of cases that are open for 12 months or more to 65 by the end of March 2008.

Manzoor has also decreed that the Law Society must share guidance on levels of financial redress with the consumer and solicitor in at least 85 per cent of cases.

In a statement, Manzoor explained: “It is imperative that the consumer and solicitor have access to this information so that they can each make an informed decision about any offer of compensation to the consumer.”

An audit by Manzoor’s office in October revealed that guidance on financial redress is currently shared only two-thirds of the time.

The Commissioner has also tasked the Law Society to address 88 per cent of complaints within a month and half of receiving them.

The targets relate to the handling of complaints about members of the Law Society for the period 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008.

Manzoor was appointed Legal Services Complaints Commissioner in February 2004, in addition to her role as Legal Services Ombudsman (LSO). She was reappointed in both roles for a period of three years in March 2006.