How to make a complaint

If you have a concern or complaint about the service or conduct of an Advocate, you should, in the first instance, raise this directly with the Advocate concerned. The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission has issued guidance on complaints handling by Advocates.

If your concern is not resolved in this way, a formal complaint against an Advocate may be made to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.  The Commission will determine whether the complaint is admissible and, if so, whether it relates to conduct or services. You can find more information about this on the Commission’s website. www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk.

If the Commission considers that the complaint relates to conduct, the complaint will be remitted to the Faculty of Advocates to be dealt with by the Faculty through the Faculty’s Disciplinary Rules.  If the complaint relates to service, it will be dealt with by the Commission.

A conduct complaint which has been remitted to the Faculty will usually be dealt with, at least in the first instance, by a Complaints Committee, comprising an equal number of Advocates and lay members.

There is an appeal from decisions of a Complaints Committee to the Faculty of Advocates Disciplinary Tribunal. The members of the Disciplinary Tribunal include Advocates and lay members. The Tribunal is chaired by a retired senior judge.

The Faculty’s processes for administering conduct complaints are set out more fully in the Faculty’s Disciplinary Rules.

A copy of the Practical Guide for Complaining Parties ("Complainers") and Counsel can be found here.

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