To celebrate International Family Day the SLCC has today published an updated version of its Family Law consumer guide. The guide, which was first published in 2015, is aimed at helping consumers be aware of the common problems which give rise to complaints and how to avoid these.
Complaints arising from Family Law transactions account for one in five of all complaints made in Scotland about solicitors.
The short guide offers ten top tips for consumers based on real complaints received by the SLCC.
Launching the guide, the SLCC’s Head of Oversight, David Buchanan-Cook said: “Having dealt with over 10,000 legal complaints we know what is likely to cause problems in family law.”
“We also know that many of these complaints can easily be avoided. The aim is to inform and empower consumers, ensuring that their family law case goes as smoothly as possible.”
With an upward trend in legal complaints – March 2017 saw the highest number on record since the SLCC was set up – the guide is part of a series designed to help avoid complaints arising. David Buchanan-Cook added: “Looking at the cause of complaints and seeking to prevent these is the most efficient and effective way to address this trend. Prevention, as we know, is better than cure.”
The guide is the first in a new consumer-friendly style. “In this relaunched guide, we have also taken on recommendations made by the SLCC Consumer Panel about how we speak to consumers,” said David Buchanan-Cook.
The Consumer Panel was established in 2015 to ensure that the interests of consumers are represented. Its Chair, Carol Brennan welcomed the guide. “The legal profession has a strong voice through the bodies that represent and regulate the profession - the Law Society and the Faculty of Advocates. The Consumer Panel is about ensuring that consumers also have a strong voice speaking for them and this guide will greatly help them.”
We will be rolling out further guides in this consumer-friendly style aimed at driving efficiency by seeking to prevent legal complaints from arising, where this is possible.”
The Family Law Consumer Guide will be followed with a guide for legal practitioners.