News releases

SRA makes ‘genuine progress’ in dealing with complaints about itself

The SRA has been praised for having made 'good and real improvements' in dealing with complaints about itself over the past two years - according to a report issued by the Independent Complaints Review Service (ICRS).*

The conclusions are based on complaints which have been referred to and handled by the ICRS and two oversight audits carried out in 2012.

The ICRS found significant improvement in the handling of complaints at Stage 1 (where the SRA first receives the complaint), compared to the previous year. The report was also complimentary about:- 

  • The quality of the investigation into an internal complaint undertaken by staff within the departments concerned
  • The very significant improvement in the quality, detail and tone of the replies sent by departmental managers
  • Action taken as a result of previous reviews, including specifically staff training of staff involved in complaint handling

The quality of responses dealt with by SRA’s Complaint Team at Stage 2 was also found to be of a very high standard - as in the previous year.

Mehrunnisa Lalani, SRA Inclusion Director, said: "We are really pleased with the positive report in recognising the real efforts we have made to improve our performance in complaint handling over the last two years and are proud of our staff for dealing professionally and empathetically with complaints.

"We know from analysing our complaints that there is more work to do and our aim now will be to build on this success and concentrate on some of the weaker areas, that we know can be frustrating to some stakeholders, such as our communication, delays in internal processes, and making our role as distinct from that of the Legal Ombudsman clearer to consumers."

The report acknowledges that while the ICRS dealt with a greater volume of complaint referrals this year, they represent a very small proportion of the people who have contact with the SRA and that even when complaints are raised, the organisation succeeds in resolving the majority internally.


Note to editors

*ICRS is an independent complaint review and settlement service which reviews complaints made about the SRA after October 2010. Its role is to get involved with complaints about the conduct of the SRA, only when the SRA has completed its own internal complaint review process. It does not investigate complaints about regulatory decisions, against individual solicitors or organisation employing solicitors.

**For information about the SRA’s different complaints stages see here.  

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