The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) has launched guidance to help newly qualified solicitors improve complaint handling. The guide, developed with the help of the Scottish Young Lawyers Association (SYLA), and based on the results of a questionnaire which the two organisations jointly issued to SYLA members earlier this year, is targeted at solicitors who are new to the profession. It is hoped that this guidance will provide practical tips to make newly qualified solicitors better equipped to deal with a complaint, should one be made.
The guide was launched at a SYLA CPD event yesterday evening by David Buchanan-Cook, the SLCC’s Head of Oversight and Communications.
In addition to the newly-qualified guide, the SLCC has also created a parallel guide for Client Relations Managers whose role it is to deliver training about complaints handling and avoiding common causes of complaints. Laura Meldrum, SYLA President commented, “Following the SYLA’s involvement with the SLCC’s questionnaire circulated to newly qualified solicitors earlier this year, we welcome the production of guides to assist with complaints handling for newly qualified solicitors. We are hopeful these guides will assist young lawyers faced with complaints and encourage them to deal with them in the correct way at the earliest possible opportunity. In particular, the SYLA welcomes that the guides refer young lawyers to LawCare given the negative impact complaints may have on the wellbeing of young lawyers.”
David Buchanan-Cook added, “These guidance notes build on our ongoing programme of work with the profession to improve complaints handling. In particular, on this occasion we decided to focus our outreach on one particular area of the profession – newly qualified solicitors. While we do not see a significant number of complaints about this group, we think there’s real benefit to them having clarity over their responsibilities as well as giving them practical tips on how to recognise complaints and how to deal with them if, or more likely when, they arise. We are particularly grateful to the SYLA for their assistance in this project.”