The SLCC has been successful in defending a ‘leave to appeal’ case in the Inner House of the Court of Session. The complainer sought leave to appeal against the SLCC’s decision to reject both issues of his complaint against a solicitor as totally without merit. Leave to appeal was refused by the court on the basis that no ground of appeal with any realistic prospect of success had been made out.
The court’s view was that the SLCC appropriately exercised its statutory power to determine “whether or not the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or totally without merit”, and to reject a complaint where such a determination is made. The court also noted that the SLCC is a specialist body specifically set up to deal with complaints made against members of the legal profession, and that in seeing all complaints, ranging from the most frivolous to the most grave, it was in the best position to assess individual complaints.
The court commented that the SLCC’s reasoning was “full and detailed” and that “the substance of the reasoning is cogent, and indeed compelling”.
Caroline Robertson, Director of Resolution commented on the case, “As the gateway for complaints about lawyers in Scotland, we often receive complaints from complainers who have found themselves in distressing and difficult situations. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a valid complaint under the relevant legislation and rules. Our duties under the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 are very clear and when there is no case to investigate we make a clear decision that this is the case and communicate this to all parties.”