Legal Profession: Complaints

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many complaints were received by (a) his Department and (b) its approved regulators on the performance of (i) barristers and (ii) solicitors in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the legislative framework governing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The position is different in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The direct regulation of the legal profession is independent of Government and the Ministry of Justice does not directly handle complaints about barristers and solicitors. Complaints about barristers and solicitors are heard by either the Office for Legal Complaints, where it is a service complaint, or their respective regulator, in these cases the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Bar Standards Board, where it is a matter of professional conduct.

The Office for Legal Complaints, Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board publish the number of complaints they receive in their annual reports, which can be found on their websites as follows:

OLC: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions/

SRA: https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/reports.page

BSB: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media-centre/publications/

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