If you are dissatisfied with the manner in which the Law Society has dealt with any complaint made by or on behalf of any person against their solicitor, you can apply to the Independent Adjudicator, as outlined here.
Role of the Independent Adjudicator
The office of the Independent Adjudicator was established to provide an independent forum to which members of the public may apply if they are dissatisfied with the manner in which the Law Society has dealt with any complaint made by or on behalf of any person against their solicitor.
The Adjudicator’s role is to ensure that complaints about the conduct of a solicitor are dealt with fairly and impartially by the Law Society and to recommend any changes in the Society’s complaints procedures which are, in his view, necessary to maintain the highest standards.
In December 2005, the Adjudicator's function was extended to deal with complaints about any decision by the Law Society concerning an application for a grant from the Law Society's Compensation Fund.
When can you apply?
You can apply to the Adjudicator if dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled by the Law Society, or with any decision concerning an application for a grant from the Law Society's Compensation Fund. Your application must be within the three year period immediately following the Society’s decision.
It is important to note that the Adjudicator can only deal with a complaint about the Society’s handling of a complaint against a solicitor. The Adjudicator cannot investigate at first hand a complaint about a solicitor. Complaints of this nature should be forwarded directly to The Law Society.
Complaints to the Adjudicator
Complaints, which must be in writing, should contain the following information:
- The reference used by the Law Society on its correspondence.
- The date on which the Society made its decision (a copy of the letter conveying the Society’s decision should be enclosed if available).
- Confirmation that the subject matter of the complaint to the Adjudicator has not already been considered by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Send your complaints to Independent Adjudicator of the Law Society, 26/27 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.
For more information, telephone 353 1 662 0457 or visit the Adjudicator website.
If the Adjudicator is satisfied that the complaint made to her falls within her terms of reference she will examine the Law Society’s file and make whatever enquiries are considered necessary by her. Having completed her investigation, she may, if appropriate, direct the Society to either re-examine the complaint or to make an application to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
The Adjudicator cannot award compensation and cannot consider any matters which have been dealt with by the Society’s Regulation of Practice Committee (other than claims on the Compensation Fund), the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal or, in the case of complaints about excessive fees, the Taxing Master.
If a complaint is still under investigation by the Law Society, the Adjudicator will await the Society’s determination before dealing with any complaint received.
Terms of Reference
For more information, see the Independent Adjudicator's Annual Report.