The bill seeks to address a plethora of problems that clients have to deal with they contract legal services. At the present time, the front-line agencies deal with their members according to their own rules. For example, the Law Society is responsible for handling consumer complaints against solicitors. The complaints are split into three categories: first of all, inadequate professional service, which includes unacceptable delays or failure to carry out the instructions of the client. Second is professional misconduct, which includes violating the Attorney-Client privilege and divulging a client’s secrets when the law does not permit him to do so. Third and last is negligence, which includes inadequate service and misconduct that does not amount to professional misconduct.
On the other hand, the Bar Council is in charge of handling cases filed against Barristers for the same three general areas of inadequate professional service, professional misconduct and negligence. They may impose disciplinary sanctions against erring Barristers.
The problem with this kind of set-up is that it very rarely gets the job down. Analysts have noted that the reason why cases filed against Barristers and Solicitors are few and far between is because a Barrister would be hard put to impose disciplinary sanctions against a fellow Barrister. According to the Legal Action Group as quoted in Chapter C of the Report on Legal Services: “We believe that consumer confidence in lawyers' ability to deal with complaints against their fellow professionals has been irreversibly undermined" ...Show more