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Tips for complaints handling

12 January, 2015



  • Maintain regular communication with other interested parties, such as the lawyer on the other side of the transaction, especially when a transaction is subject to delay which is beyond your control.  A formal complaint could be avoided simply by explaining why there is delay and the actions you are taking to try to achieve resolution.
  • Be clear in all your communications.  If you cannot release information, or reply to a request, explain why


  •  Ignore any expression of dissatisfaction
  • Fail to respond to communications.  A significant proportion of the conduct complaints received by the CLC relate to a licensed conveyancer failing to keep a lawyer on the other side of a transaction informed or updated.




  • Accept that the complainant may have a grievance, however unjustified you may think it is.
  • Think about how you are going to respond – take time to reflect – remember that for complaints accepted for investigation by CLC, a copy will be sent to the complainant and a copy could to be placed before the Adjudication Panel if the matter is referred to the Panel.
  • Try to be objective.
  • Address all the issues raised – however minor.  The CLC Complaint form requires the complainant to list each head of complaint.  It is suggested your response follows this format and you address each complaint raised.
  • Avoid raising other issues.
  • Respond in a clear logical manner.
  • Keep to the point.
  • Even though the complaint may relate to events beyond your control, explain what happened and what action you took.
  • If you realise that an error has been made, consider how you could work towards resolving it


  • Rush a response which you may later regret.
  • Be defensive.
  • Personalise your response