Law Society: Guidance update on third-party complaints

Law Society: Guidance update on third-party complaints

Following the recent hearing on the provision of information relating to third-party complaints against solicitors, Law Society members should be aware that its guidance on this is under review and may be subject to change at short notice.

The Court of Session opinion in the case of Scottish Legal Complaints Commission v Donald Roderick Murray and Another issued on 11 October 2022 confirmed that, without client consent, information covered by legal professional privilege should not be provided to a regulator, which includes the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, in response to a third party complaint.

A further hearing was held on 24 November 2022, with the court’s written decision to be published in due course. The decision may result in a change to the society’s guidance as it relates to confidential, but not privileged, material in third party complaints.

Currently the guidance should be read against the backdrop of the opinion issued on 11 October 2022.

Until such time as the final written judgment is issued, the Law Society will allow reasonable extensions of time for members to consider providing confidential information in relation to a third-party conduct complaint.

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