Inside Running: Internal Complaints Management Practice and Regulation in the Legal Profession
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 08:53 by Christine Parker;Linda Haller
This paper examines what makes for good complaints management in legal practice, how law ﬁrms are faring at complaints management, and the role of a regulator in encouraging implementation of effective complaints management. The ﬁrst part of the paper argues that it can be important from the point of view of clients, legal practices and regulators for legal practices to implement internal complaints management practices. The second part of the paper considers the potential possibilities and problems when regulators attempt to mandate internal complaints management by legal practices. We examine a recent initiative by the Queensland regulator to ask lawyers to complete a survey on complaints management systems. We argue that this approach — of promoting awareness of, discussion about, and commitment to good complaints management inside legal practices, but without mandating any particular system — is a promising model that other jurisdictions should consider closely. The third part of the paper examines what good complaints management involves in principle, and the perceptions, attitudes and practices of legal and non-legal staff in relation to complaints management, using the results from the Queensland survey.