Unregulated Practice Complaints
So as to bring competition into the legal industry with a view to lowering hourly rate fees and improving quality of service the Government legislated and brought The Legal Services Act 2007 into force in 2011. For many years the SRA did not allow Solicitors, which is a protected term, to use the name “Solicitor” if they were practicing in an unregulated manner. On the 25th November 2019 the SRA finally brought in regulations allowing Solicitors to practice on an unregulated basis using the title “Solicitor”.
The Solicitors and Barristers at our practice act in this capacity to provide you with advice and legal services in a cost-effective manner. To enable our Solicitors and Barristers to practice in this manner we are required to make the following statement:
“Unregistered Barristers do not have a practising certificate and are not on the register of practising barristers. Therefore, in providing any legal services to you they are not acting as a barrister and are not subject to many of the rules which regulate practising barristers. This limits the services they can provide to you. They can provide you with legal advice and represent you before certain Tribunals but cannot exercise right of audience in Court. Solicitors undertake services through us as unregulated Solicitors. Our unregulated Solicitors do hold a practicing certificate, but chose to practice in an unregulated capacity. Therefore, in providing any legal services to you they are not acting as a Solicitor, but as consultant and are therefore not subject to Solicitor Regulation Authority rules relating to practising Solicitors.”
We aim to provide you with an excellent service, but should you have any concerns or issues with any of our Consultant Lawyers, please send an email clearly setting out your complaint to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice and we will try to resolve the problem. You should, however, know that you would have only limited rights to complain about any unregistered Solicitor or unregulated Barrister to anyone else. The Legal Ombudsman, who adjudicates on complaints about poor service by practising Solicitors and Barristers, cannot consider any complaint against unregulated Solicitors or unregistered Barristers. If we cannot resolve your concerns, you can complain to the Bar Counsel or the Solicitors Regulation Authority, as relevant, and they will investigate whether the unregulated Solicitor or unregistered Barrister has failed to comply with any of the rules which apply to unregulated Solicitors or unregistered Barristers but it cannot investigate possible breaches of rules which apply only to practising Solicitors or Barristers.
To register a formal complaint, please write to us and include all the information suggested by the Legal Ombudsman – their website includes some useful checklists and sample letters.
In addition to the Legal Ombudsman, several other complaints bodies exist which are also able to deal with complaints about legal services – these are: Ombudsman Services, ProMediate, Small Claims Mediation and the European Online Dispute Resolution platform. Information about these alternatives can be found at:
Changes to this policy
This policy was published on 1st July 2020.
We may change this policy from time to time without providing notice.