The Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) says it received a total of 1,422 complaints about solicitors and barristers last year.
The body, which is responsible for the regulation of legal services, began handling such complaints in October 2019, and 2020 was its first full year of operating this function.
According to its annual report, the LSRA received 1,389 complaints about solicitors, and 33 relating to barristers. Multiple complaints may be brought against an individual legal practitioner.
Almost 60% of the complaints were linked to alleged misconduct. Just over one-third were from clients who alleged that they received inadequate standards of legal services, while 7% of complaints were about excessive costs.
The regulatory body said the main areas of legal services that attracted complaints were wills and probate, litigation and conveyancing.
The LSRA set up two new independent committees to investigate complaints. The Complaints Committee considers and investigates misconduct complaints referred to it by the LSRA, while the Review Committee reviews determinations made by the LSRA on complaints about inadequate legal services and excessive costs. Both committees have a majority of lay members.
More than 200 new LLPs
Other figures in the annual report show that the body authorised 230 partnerships of solicitors to operate as Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in 2020.
A total of 74 LLPs were authorised in Dublin, with 38 in Cork, 12 in Galway and eight each in counties Donegal, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick and Louth.
Most of the firms authorised as LLPs had between two and five partners, but four had more than 20 partners.
LSRA Chief Executive, Dr Brian Doherty (pictured), said that the body had also assumed responsibility for the regulation of advertising of legal services.