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Client Relations Office: recent changes

20 June 05

Update on third party complaints procedure; information pack; IPS compensation limit

Third party complaints procedure

The Client Relations Office has taken on board concerns expressed by the Legal Defence Union and others about preserving the confidentiality of clients in complaints initiated by parties who are not the clients of the solicitor complained against.

Previously, the investigation was conducted by full cross-copying of information, with care being exercised to ensure that no confidential information was disclosed. The changed procedure will involve the complainer being informed of the outcome and action (if any) taken on the complaint, but they will not receive copies of all information, including in particular the reporter’s report. For further information, contact Mary McGowan on 0131 476 8152 or at

New information pack

The Society has produced an information pack designed to give clear information to the public on the role performed by the Client Relations Office. Any solicitors wishing copies should contact our helpline on 0845 113 0018.

A corresponding information leaflet for the profession is currently in the pipeline.

IPS compensation limits

On 1 April 2005 the limit of compensation for inadequate professional services was increased to £5,000. Council has decided that this will apply to business ongoing or transacted after that date. For cases concluded before 1 April the previous maximum limit of £1,000 will apply. For further information on how the Client Relations Office will apply the limits please contact Philip Yelland on 0131 476 8131, or