Agency sees increase in complaints about solicitors and barristers

Agency sees increase in complaints about solicitors and barristers
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The number of complaints about solicitors and barristers has increased significantly since a new agency took over disciplinary matters for the legal profession late last year.

The government is set to be briefed on the latest annual report of the Legal Service Authority at a cabinet meeting today.

The Legal Service Regulatory Authority took over the enforcement of disciplinary matters for solicitors and barristers last October.

By the end of the year, they had received a total of 304 complaints: 46% of them related to inadequate services; 44% to misconduct; and 9% to excessive costs.

But even more up-to-date figures have been published by the authority.

They show that by the beginning of March this year, the number of complaints received had gone up by just over 330 again - to 636.

Areas complained about include wills and probate, litigation, conveyancing and family law, while an overarching theme which emerged was about the need for legal practitioners to communicate with their clients in a clear and timely fashion.

14 complaints involved issues related to alleged criminal activity, most of which were about what is thought to be a bogus law firm.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan will brief the Cabinet on the annual report later this morning.


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