Probe into legal complaints handling launched

The Legal Complaints Services (LCS) has launched a ‘pre-consultation study’ into its plans to publish the complaints handling track records of law firms.

The LCS has commissioned market research agency Gfk NOP to conduct the consultation, which aims to gauge the impact such a move would have on the legal profession. The consultation will include an online questionnaire at

Deborah Evans, the LCS’ chief executive, said that the service believes that “good firms” would not be threatened by the publication of complaints data.

“Indeed it’s our contention that they will flourish as consumer confidence in the way they operate is reinforced,” said Evans. “Transparency will allow consumers to make informed choices. The ability of the public to discern from balanced data what represents good service will result in higher standards from solicitors.”

The LCS also believes that more transparency could see a drop in the number of complaints it would have to handle. Last year the service handled more than of 18,000 complaints.

The Law Society president Andrew Holroyd welcomed the consultation. “We look forward to the opportunity to consult with colleagues in the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and LCS to determine how this type of information might help the public make more informed choices,” said Holroyd.

“Giving people the best information to help them to choose a solicitor is part of the maintenance and constant improvement of standards that the Law Society believes is vital.”