If a solicitor or firm has not acted properly, it may be necessary to complain. Examples of causes for complaint could be:
- Not providing the service agreed or providing only part of the service.
- Failing to act in a timely manner.
- Charging more than what was agreed without justification.
- Not explaining clearly what the quote did/did not include, for example, that any disbursements were in addition to the quote or that it did not include VAT.
- Charging an hourly rate for a senior lawyer to do something and using a junior or trainee to provide the service.
- Failing to inform you about alternative funding, such as that you could have been covered by your insurance or may have qualified for public funding.
- Giving misleading or inaccurate information.
- Disclosing information to a third party without your authorisation.
- Not filing documents when required or filing them incorrectly to your detriment.
- Failing to properly consult you before accepting or declining a proposed settlement.
- Failing to provide you with important information, for example, in a conveyancing case, not telling you about a proposed new development near the house you plan to buy.
The above list is by no means exhaustive and refers to common grounds for complaint against a solicitor or firm you have instructed. There are times when you may want to report a firm’s wrong-doing even when they have not been instructed by you.
Although solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the SRA does not handle individual complaints. If you wish to complain about a firm or solicitor you have instructed, your first step will be to complain to the firm itself. If you are not satisfied with their response, you may take your compliant to the Legal Ombudsman.
See how to complain about your solicitor
If you want to complain about a firm you have not instructed or about a breach of the SRA Code of Conduct or principles, see how to report to the SRA