If you suffer poor service at the hands of conveyancing solicitors, here's the course of action you should take:
All conveyancing solicitors have a procedure for dealing with complaints.
There will be someone (normally a partner of the firm) who is in charge of handling complaints and you should be given their contact details without contest.
It's best to go "on the record" and setout your complaint in writing.
If you don't want to write a full-blown letter, there is a "resolution form" provided by The Law Society (the body that governs conveyancing solicitors) that you can fill-in and send instead.
The "resolution form" is available from:
Once you've made your complaint, you should receive a detailed reply from your conveyancing solicitors within 28 days.
If you are not able to get satisfaction (or the conveyancing solicitors are ignoring you) it's time to go to step 2...
The Law Society governs all conveyancing solicitors and they have a Ombudsman you can contact for help.
PO Box 6806
Hotline: 0300 555 0333
Website: Legal Complaints Service
The Law Society should:
If the Consumer Complaints Service do not:
Then it's time to go to step 3...
If you're not happy with the way The Law Society dealt with your complaint you can, in turn, complain to Zahida Manzoor CBE (she's the Legal Services Ombudsman for England & Wales).
Legal Services Ombudsman
Tel: 0161 839 7262
Fax: 0161 832 5446
Website: Legal Services Ombudsman
Complaints of this nature are time sensitive so it's bet to contact the legal complaints service as soon as possible.
They will give you details of the procedure for getting your conveyancing solicitor's bill independently checked.
Legal Complaints Service
8 Dormer Place
Hotline: 0845 608 6565
Website: Legal Complaints Service
Further Reading (from The Law Society):
The Law Society will only help if you're complaining about poor service from conveyancing solicitors.
They cannot help if you've suffered financial loss due to a conveyancing solicitor's negligence!
They cannot help if you wish to complain about someone else's conveyancing solicitors' conduct or behaviour.
If you have suffered financially at the hands of conveyancing solicitors your only option is to sue them for compensation.
All conveyancing solicitors carry professional negligence insurance and (contrary to popular belief) there are solicitors that specialise in suing other solicitors.
Some like The Claims Connection even operate on a "no-win, no-fee" basis and will give you free legal consultation to determine whether you have a viable case to bring against your conveyancing solicitors.
The Legal Ombudsman complaints service can give you a list of lawyers that specialise in bringing compensation cases against negligent conveyancing solicitors.
If you have a complaint about your Licensed Conveyancer, follow the same guidelines as I've detailed regarding conveyancing solicitors.
However, there is one difference:
The governing body for Licensed Conveyancers is The Council for Licensed Conveyancers. You must contact them (not The Law Society) where appropriate.
Council for Licensed Conveyancers
16 Glebe Road
Tel: 01245 349 599
Fax: 01245 341 300
Website: Council for Licensed Conveyancers
Making complaints against conveyancing solicitors & Licensed Conveyancers is tough work.
Solicitors do not have the best track record for dealing with complaints (although, since the Government rapped them over the knuckles they seem to be getting better).
If you are really having a bad time with your coveyancing solicitors, consider contacting one of the independent consumer bodies for help.
The following organisations have a wealth of experience for you to draw on: