Complaints about your conduct are investigated in accordance with the CILEx Regulation Enforcement Rules.
The procedures set out in the Enforcement Rules are explained in the Enforcement Handbook and its annexes below:
Complaints that were considered by a panel or tribunal prior to 1 August 2018 will continue to be investigated in accordance with the Investigation, Disciplinary and Appeals Rules (IDAR). The procedures set out in the IDAR are explained in the IDAR Handbook and its annexes below:
If you are a CILEx Regulation Authorised Entity the procedure on how complaints are dealt with about your entity can be found on our entity pages.
We may commence an investigation into your conduct, upon receipt of a complaint or upon information in the absence of a complaint. This may be information received from other CILEx Regulation teams or other regulatory bodies, for example the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers or the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.
Complaints are generally about:
- Your conduct or the conduct of a person at your entity.
- The service you provide to your clients.
Conduct complaints (breaches of the CILEx Code of Conduct)
Conduct complaints about your personal and professional conduct are investigated by CILEx Regulation. Conduct will be assessed against the CILEx Code of Conduct.
Conduct complaints may include providing legal advice when you are not competent to do so, failing to comply with a court order, misappropriation of money or failing to pay your professional indemnity insurance if you own an entity.
CILEx Regulation cannot deal with complaints about the service you provided. Those complaints are considered by the Legal Ombudsman (LeO). LeO may refer matters to CILEx Regulation if it considers that the service complaint discloses conduct issues about you.
Our investigation procedure is outlined via the links at the bottom of this page.
Service complaints relate to the quality of the service you provide to clients. Service issues include allegations about delay, failure to provide case progress updates to clients, or issues relating to client costs.
All entities must have an in-house complaints handling procedure which you should provide to clients when you are first instructed or as soon as practicable. If a client has a complaint about the service you have provided (or anyone else in your entity) they must submit their complaint in accordance with your complaints procedure.
If you or the entity does not deal with the complaint or does so unsatisfactorily, the complainant can refer their service complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO). You should provide the LeO contact details to your client at the same time as you provide information about your entity’s own complaints handling procedure. Further details can be found on the LeO website.
You can read further information about our complaints procedure in our First-tier Complaints Handling Guidance notes.