Guidelines for complainants

Unreasonable behaviour

 We understand that the problems leading to a complaint about a Costs Lawyer might have been frustrating or upsetting. We will always take this into account, listen carefully to your concerns and treat you with courtesy and respect at all times.

Our staff also deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect, so in the very rare cases that frustration and upset turns into unreasonable behaviour, we will take action to protect our staff.

We won’t accept behaviour that we consider to be violent, insulting or threatening. This includes using offensive language, any form of discrimination, or any kind of threat.

We will always try to be clear about what you can expect from us. This includes when you can expect a response from us and how frequently we will provide updates. However, we won’t respond to unreasonable demands that might take the form of: insisting on an action in an unrealistic timescale; insisting that someone in particular deals with a matter when they are unavailable; making excessive contact with us that impacts on our ability to do our job.

Where we find behaviour unreasonable, we will first try to resolve the matter by explaining why we think that is the case. If we are unable to resolve the problem this way, we might take further action, which could include: communicating only in writing; refusing to communicate further on certain aspects at all; deciding we will stop looking into the complaint altogether.

Declining to investigate a complaint, or deciding to stop investigating a complaint

We explain about our regulatory objectives and mission here and why it is essential that we put our funds to work in an efficient and impactful way, identifying key areas of risk within the profession and targeting these to achieve the best possible outcomes for consumers of Costs Lawyers’ services and the wider public.

This means that we may not look into every complaint raised with us, or continue an investigation into every complaint. We will concentrate our efforts on complaints where it seems likely that:

  • there has been a breach of our rules, or there is a risk to clients, the public or the public interest; and
  • the matter is sufficiently serious that we may take action; and
  • it is likely that the matter can be adequately investigated and evidenced.