Law Society under fire for complaint failures

ugT?Society is facing renewed criticism today over its complaints handling, as a report reveals it has failed to reach five out of six targets set by the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

The report, published by the legal services ombudsman Z…


The Law Society is facing renewed criticism today over its complaints handling, as a report reveals it has failed to reach five out of six targets set by the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

The report, published by the legal services ombudsman Zahida Manzoor, shows that the society’s handling of complaints has grown significantly worse from last year.

Manzoor was satisfied with only 53.3 per cent of complaints brought to her, compared to from 67.2 per cent in 2002/2003. The target set was 75 per cent.

The only benchmark the society did reach was dealing with 85 per cent of cases brought to it during the year. It managed 88.4 per cent.

However at the same time, payments made by the Law Society in cases where it accepts handling has been faulty have risen by 582 per cent from £28,414 in the first quarter of 2003 to £165,364 in the first quarter of 2004.

Chief executive Janet Paraskeva defended the Law Society’s record, saying: “Over the past 12 months the Law Society has resolved over 1,500 more cases than we have received.”