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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

What do I do if I have a complaint?

Is the person a member of APIL?
First of all, you must check that the individual about whom you are complaining is a member of APIL. You can do this by checking the website for accredited members only and/or telephoning the office to check from the full list of over 4,000 members. Around 30% of our members are accredited.

Contact regulatory body
You should also write to the lawyer’s professional regulatory body so you should ask whether the person is a solicitor, barrister, or legal executive and then contact the relevant organisation below:

Solicitor - Solicitors Regulation Authority and The Legal Ombudsman
Legal executive - Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
For a barrister - Bar Standards Board

Consider code of conduct and consumer charter
All 4,000+ members of APIL abide by the code of conduct and consumer charter.

If an APIL member is found to be in breach of the code the lawyer’s membership may be terminated and his/her professional body may also be advised. The member can also be reprimanded by APIL’s executive committee, or asked to apologise for their conduct.

Contact APIL
How do I make a complaint to APIL?

You must contact APIL with details of your complaint. Your contact can be by telephone, email, letter or through the website feedback area.

You should address any written correspondence to:

Legal Services Manager
APIL
3 Alder Court
Rennie Hogg Road
Nottingham, NG2 1RX

Legal Services Manager writes to you
The Legal Services Manager will write to you setting out APIL’s code of conduct and how the complaint will be dealt with.

Legal Services Manager writes to APIL secretary
Your complaint is sent through to the APIL Secretary for consideration and who will decide on the next steps to be taken.

APIL secretary may ask for more information
The APIL Secretary may request more information or documents from you.

APIL Secretary decides on whether the complaint is upheld
Once the Secretary has all the information, he will decide whether there has been a breach of APIL’s code of conduct. If the breach is not, in his view, ‘grave or persistent’ then he will attempt to resolve the complaint by means of correspondence with the member and yourself. If the Secretary decides there has been no breach of the code of conduct, the Secretary will write to you with his views.

If the complaint is upheld, disciplinary action is taken
If the Secretary decides that the complaint is ‘grave or persistent’ then the formal procedures outlined in the code of conduct are activated. In summary, the Secretary may convene a disciplinary panel to decide on the issues and what sanction, if any, should be imposed.

The decision is notified to you
The panel’s decision will be notified in writing to the member and to you.

Possible appeal
The member has a right to appeal which is heard by a separate appeals panel.

Note that membership of APIL is not compulsory and APIL is not a regulatory body. APIL’s sanctions cannot affect the member’s fitness to practice.