Most people have a good experience with their solicitor, but sometimes things do go wrong.
We are the Legal Complaints Service and we deal with complaints about poor service by solicitors.
We also receive reports about professional misconduct by solicitors.
We pass these reports to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), who regulate the solicitors' profession.
Some members of the public approved by the Master of the Rolls are involved in our decision making. Our board
oversees our work. The board has a chairperson and most members are not solicitors.
The Legal Services Ombudsman reviews the work we have done.
This booklet tells you how we can help you if you think you have received a poor service from your solicitor. It
also tells you what the SRA can do if they receive a report about a solicitor's misconduct.
Where to start 3
Meeting your needs 3
Making a complaint on someone else's behalf 3
Complaining about your own solicitor 3
Where should I start? 4
How do I complain to my solicitor? 4
When should I refer my complaint to you? 4
Time limits for making complaints 4
How do I complain to you? 5
How will you deal with my complaint? 5
Local conciliation officers 5
What action can you take? 6
Legal claims and negligence 6
Administering estates 7
Problems we are not able to help you with 7
Complaining about our service 8
Referring your complaint to the Legal Services Ombudsman 8
Destroying your file 9
Assessment (by the court) 9
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) 9
When should I report the solicitor? 10
How do I make my report? 10
How do the SRA deal with my report? 10
Other information about the SRA 11
The Compensation Fund 11
Useful contacts 13
Data protection notice 17
Where to start
Read through this booklet. If you're still not sure what to do, call our helpline on 0845 608 6565. (Calls are
charged at local rates.) It's open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. The lines can get very busy so we run a
queuing system. (For our minicom service, phone 0845 601 1682.)
Our helpline can:
• give you practical advice to help you to solve your problem;
• tell you who to contact if we are not able to help; and
• tell you how to complain to us.
Our helpline is not able to answer legal queries or give you legal advice. However, the Solicitors Regulation
Authority (SRA) can give you details of solicitors or other organisations to contact for legal advice. Their phone
number for public enquiries is 0870 606 2555. (These calls are charged at national rates.)
Meeting your needs
We can provide our literature in different languages and in different formats, for example, in Braille, in large print
or on audio tape.
We can also use the Typetalk phone service, so if you have hearing or speech problems we can talk to you using
this service. Our minicom number is 0845 601 1682.
If you have any difficulty accessing our services, contact our helpline and they will do their best to help.
Making a complaint on someone else's behalf
Sometimes, complaints are made on behalf of people who have impaired mental capacity. (Impaired mental
capacity means that someone cannot make a decision because of his or her mental state or is not able to
communicate that decision, or a combination of the two.)
If you make a complaint and have a court of protection order or an enduring power of attorney, we will deal with
the complaint as if it were made by the client. If you do not make the complaint under either a protection order or
power of attorney, we may not be able to deal with it in this way. In these circumstances, we may need to carry
out some enquiries before we can make any decision to investigate the complaint. If we decide not to investigate,
we will tell you. If the complaint is upheld after an investigation, the client will receive any compensation or other
Complaining about your own solicitor
This section looks at what you should do and what we can do if you are complaining about a solicitor who is
acting for you or has acted for you in the past.
Sometimes, we receive complaints from solicitors on their client's behalf. The solicitor may be charging you for
this service. In most cases, you will not be able to claim back the costs you have had to pay as a result of making
your complaint to us through your new solicitor.
Where should I start?
Your first step must be to discuss your concerns with either your own solicitor or the person in the firm who deals
with complaints. All firms of solicitors must have their own procedure for handling complaints.
If your solicitor practises alone, he or she may have an arrangement with another local firm or with the local law
How do I complain to my solicitor?
You don't have to complain in writing, but it's a good idea because your solicitor will then have a record of the
details. You should keep a copy of your letter.
If you don't want to write a letter to your solicitor, you can fill in our resolution form. This form helps you to put
your complaint in writing to the firm.
You can get this form from:
• our helpline;
• your solicitor; or
• a citizens advice bureau.
Please don't use our resolution form if you want to report the conduct (behaviour) of someone else's solicitor.
If you'd rather phone or make an appointment to visit the solicitor's firm, you should do the following.
• Make sure you speak to the person at the firm who deals with complaints.
• Tell them what your complaint is about.
• Say what you want them to do about it.
• Take notes of your conversation.
• Ask the solicitor to confirm in writing:
- the name of the person at the firm who will be dealing with your complaint;
- the action they will be taking; and
- the date by which they will do this.
When should I refer my complaint to you?
You should get in touch with us in the following circumstances.
• You haven't received a detailed reply to your initial complaint from your solicitor within a reasonable time,
normally 28 days.
• You haven't been able to sort out your complaint with your solicitor.
Time limits for making complaints
You must contact us:
• within six months of the work which the solicitor did for you; or
• within six months of finding out that there was a problem;
whichever is later.
It's important that you contact us within the timescales outlined above. If you leave it any longer, we may decide
not to investigate your complaint. However, in some circumstances we may decide that the six-month time limit
should not apply. If we think your complaint is particularly serious or you can show us a good reason for not
making the complaint within the time limit, we may investigate even if you are out of time.
How do I complain to you?
If you want to make a formal complaint to us and haven't already talked to our helpline, you might find that they
are the best starting point. They will talk you through the best way for you to make your complaint. They might
ask you to write to us or fill in our complaint form. You can get these forms from our helpline on 0845 608 6565.
(Our minicom service is 0845 601 1682.) If you have any difficulty filling in the form, please contact us and we will
try to help you.
(A solicitor may be entitled to charge you interest on any unpaid bills, even if you have complained to us and we
are investigating your complaint.)
How will you deal with my complaint?
We will give you more information about how we will deal with your complaint when we look at your concerns.
To make sure that we can deal with complaints as quickly as possible we sometimes use firms of solicitors to
handle complaints on our behalf. We will let you know if this applies in your case.
So that we can deal with your complaint effectively, we will need to send the firm you are complaining about a
copy of your letter of form. If you do not want us to do this please tell us.
In some cases, not allowing us to copy the letter or form may prevent us from dealing with your complaint.
Sometimes, we may decide not to take any further action. If this is the case, we will write to you explaining the
reasons for our decision.
If you are not happy with how we have handled your complaint or with the decision we've taken, you can refer the
matter to the Legal Services Ombudsman (please see pages 8 and 9).
Local conciliation officers
Local conciliation officers (LCOs) are mostly solicitors, either in practice or retired, who act as our local
representatives. We have trained them and they can visit people to help them set out their complaints and try to
sort out matters where possible.
We could decide that your complaint should be referred to an LCO. For example, it may be that:
• the complaint appears to be very detailed or complicated, so it would be difficult to reach an early solution
without face-to-face discussion with an LCO; or
• you find it difficult to put your complaint in writing and would prefer to discuss it face-to-face.
If you think that a local conciliation officer may be able to help you, please let us know when you send us your
complaint. However, please remember that the LCO will not be able to act for you or give you legal advice.
What action can you take?
If you are not able to sort your complaint out with the solicitor concerned, we may be able to help you. We can
look at the service you have received from your solicitor.
In most cases we will try to sort out the complaint informally by getting you and the solicitor to agree on the best
way to sort it out.
If we cannot sort your complaint out informally, we may decide that we are not able to take any further action. We
will write to you to tell you if this is the case and what to do if you are not satisfied with our decision.
In some cases we need to make formal decisions on complaints. If we find the service you have received from
your solicitor was not good enough, we can:
• reduce your solicitor's bill;
• order your solicitor to pay you compensation of up to £15,000; and
• tell your solicitor to correct a mistake and pay any costs involved.
There are rules which govern how solicitors should practise. Broadly speaking, these rules concern the standard
of behaviour of solicitors. We deal with some complaints which have service issues but the solicitor may also
have broken the rules of professional conduct. If there has been misconduct which has affected the service you
have received, we can take that into account:
• when we look at your complaint; and
• if we order the solicitor to pay you compensation.
In some cases we may then tell the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) about the matter so they can decide
whether they need to take any action. (Please see pages 9 to 11 for more information.)
Legal claims and negligence
In some circumstances, we will investigate complaints where you could also take legal action in the courts. We
will try to investigate your complaint whenever we can. However, in some cases we may not be able to help you
as we are not able to decide complicated issues of fact or law. If this is the case, we will tell you as soon as we
can and suggest where else you might be able to get help with your problem.
Some cases may lead to a legal claim and an investigation of poor service. We may be able to deal with the
complaint within our powers but this will depend on how much compensation you are looking for. We can award
compensation of up to £15,000 or reduce the solicitor's bill (or both).
If we decide we are not able to help you, you might be able to take a legal claim through the courts or to the
solicitor's insurers. Solicitors get their insurance from a variety of companies. You will need to ask the firm who
their insurers are.
We may decide that it would be helpful to refer you to a member of our negligence panel scheme. The panellist
will give you up to one hour's free advice about whether they think you have a legal claim for negligence in the
courts. This will usually take place at a meeting, but not always. This hour includes the panellist's time for
preparing their advice, and the time they take to read the documents you have provided to support your
Once the panellist has given you advice, the referral comes to an end. If you need more help, the panellist can
charge for this. On the other hand, you may be eligible for legal aid or you may have legal expenses insurance.
You will need to talk about the costs involved with the panellist. We are not able to refer you to a panel member if
you are already receiving, or have received, independent legal advice.
There are time limits for making a claim against your solicitors so you should consider getting independent legal
advice as soon as possible. If you are told that you may have a legal claim, you should contact your solicitors and
tell them that you plan to make a claim against them. In some circumstances, the solicitors will need to tell their
In cases where the insurers get involved, they will carry out an investigation and decide whether it's appropriate
to settle your claim. If they decide to do this, they'll also decide the amount you will be awarded. If they decide not
to settle, you will probably have to go to court to follow up your claim. You may have to pay the court costs.
In all probate cases, the executor is the solicitor's client (in other words, the person appointed by the will to carry
out the instructions of the person who has died). If you are the executor, we can look into your complaint because
you will be the client – even if there are other executors (co-executors).
If you are not the executor and someone other than the solicitor is, you should firstly ask him or her to deal with
any complaints you have about the way in which the estate is being handled.
If the executor is the solicitor, we will investigate your complaint.
We will accept and investigate complaints from any beneficiary and in circumstances where the estate
administration is not finished. However, what we can do for people who are not clients is limited. In some cases,
we may only be able to try to get you and the solicitor talking.
In all cases, please send us a copy of the will and the grant of probate or letters of administration when you first
write to us. This means we can identify what your position is at the beginning.
Problems we are not able to help you with
We don't have the power to do the following.
• We cannot investigate your complaint if it is to do with a solicitor who practises in Northern Ireland or
Scotland. Please see page 15 for details of who you can contact.
• We cannot deal with complaints about barristers, licensed conveyancers or legal executives (unless they are
employed in a solicitors' firm to provide legal services). You should contact the Bar Standards Board, the
Council for Licensed Conveyancers or the Institute of Legal Executives. Please see page 14 for the
• We cannot give you legal advice or a 'second opinion' on legal advice that you've received.
• We cannot tell your solicitor how they should handle your case.
• We cannot decide complicated issues of fact or law which can only be decided by a court.
• We cannot look into the outcome of court cases. You should talk to a solicitor or contact a citizens advice
bureau for advice about what you can do about the decision.
• We cannot review a decision taken by the Legal Services Commission. You should ask the commission or a
solicitor about how you can appeal. (The Legal Services Commission is a new organisation responsible for
managing community legal services. It used to be called the Legal Aid Board.)
• We cannot investigate your complaint about the service given by someone else's solicitor to their own client.
If you report to us about the way someone else's solicitor has behaved, we will pass your report to the
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Pages 9 to 11 explain what the SRA can do.
Complaining about our service
We want to deal with your case efficiently. Sometimes things go wrong and we will try to put them right as quickly
If you are not happy with the way we are dealing with your case you need to tell us as soon as possible. This is
important as we are not able to look at your concerns about our service after we have closed our file.
You should start by contacting your caseworker or their customer service manager. (If you complain to the
customer service manager, please have your reference number to hand.)
If you've done this and you're still not happy, you can refer your complaint to our Quality and Service Standards
We describe our complaints procedure in a leaflet called 'If you are not happy with our service', which you can
ask us for.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have a separate procedure for dealing with complaints about their
Referring your complaint to the Legal Services Ombudsman
We will tell you in writing that we have done all we can for you and we are not taking any further action on your
file. If you're not happy with the way we've handled your complaint or with the decision we've taken, you can refer
the matter to the Legal Services Ombudsman.
The Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales is Ms Zahida Manzoor CBE. She was appointed by the
Lord Chancellor under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, and this act also sets out her powers.
The Legal Services Ombudsman oversees the way we handle complaints about solicitors.
Once we've told you our final decision in writing, you normally have three months to refer the case to the Legal
If you miss this three-month deadline, the Ombudsman will not normally consider your case. However, she might
extend the deadline if there are 'special reasons' for doing so. 'Special reasons' are circumstances beyond your
control that prevented you from referring your case to the Ombudsman in time. For example, you or a member of
your close family might have been seriously ill. You should contact the Ombudsman's office in writing if you think
this situation may apply to you.
The Ombudsman can look at how the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have handled reports of misconduct
which have been passed to them.
The Ombudsman is not able to look into complaints involving the following.
• The SRA closing down a solicitor's practice (an intervention).
• Applications to the Compensation Fund.
If the Ombudsman finds that your complaint has not been properly handled, she can recommend that we
reconsider your complaint. She also has the power to recommend or (in some cases) order that either we or the
solicitor involved pay compensation to you for the loss, distress or inconvenience that you have suffered. There is
no limit to the amount of compensation that the Ombudsman can recommend or order, but she will not normally
recommend or order more than we can award. If we reconsider your complaint, we may reach a different decision
to our original one. (Please see page 15 for the address.)
Destroying your file
We destroy our complaint files after a certain time. Before we destroy the files we will check to see if there are
any original documents on them. We will return any original documents to you or the solicitor (depending on who
sent us the documents originally).
We will destroy our complaint files two years after we have told you that we have closed the file, unless there are
reasons for keeping them longer.
Assessment (by the court)
Either you or your solicitor can apply for the bill to be assessed. This is a legal term that means the court will
review your bill. Assessment is a complicated process and you should consider getting legal advice before you go
As with all court proceedings, assessment is likely to involve you paying court costs. Even if your bill is reduced,
you may have to pay your own costs and your solicitor's costs. The courts will decide this.
There are strict time limits for assessment. For example, if you:
• apply to the court within one month of having received your bill, the court will always allow the assessment to
• apply between one month and 12 months of getting the bill and you have not paid it yet, the court may order
the assessment, but it doesn't have to; or
• paid the bill more than 12 months, you can no longer challenge it.
If you want to find out more about assessment, you can phone the Supreme Court Costs' Office on
020 7947 7124 and ask for a copy of their information sheet.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
If we pass a report to the SRA, they can only take action if the solicitor has breached (broken) the rules of
professional conduct which all solicitors must follow. Often, a solicitor will quite properly just be doing what's best
for their own client and not what's best for any other people who may be involved.
If you report the behaviour of someone else's solicitor, the SRA are not able to pay you any compensation even if
they find that the rules of professional conduct have been broken. However, they can take other action in the
The SRA are not able to help with many of the concerns they receive about other people's solicitors. It might help
to discuss your concerns with either your own solicitor or our helpline before you write to us.
When should I report the solicitor?
You should get in touch with us straight away if you want to report a solicitor's conduct to the SRA. You must
contact us within six months of the conduct taking place.
It is important that you contact us within the timescales outlined above. If you leave it any longer, the SRA may
decide not to consider your report. However, in a limited number of cases they may decide that the six-month
time limit should not apply because there is a good reason to investigate the matter.
How do I make my report?
If you want to report a solicitor's behaviour, you can either write to us or fill in our complaint form and we will pass
your report to the SRA. These forms are available from our helpline on 0845 608 6565 (our minicom service is
0845 601 1682). If you have any difficulty filling in the form, please contact us and we will try to help you.
How do the SRA deal with my report?
The SRA's role is to regulate solicitors in the interests of the public and people who use legal services.
When the SRA receive your report, they will tell you what information you can expect to receive about any action
they may take. The SRA will usually only give you further information if you have been directly affected by the
conduct you are reporting.
If possible, and if it is appropriate, the SRA may be able to sort out issues between you and the solicitor. This can
only happen if there is evidence that the solicitor has broken, or not carried out, a specific duty owed to you under
the rules of professional conduct. In this case, the SRA will usually try to sort out the issues before they decide
whether they need to take any other action.
Before the SRA decide how to deal with your report, they may ask you to help them by giving them any evidence
you have which may show whether the solicitor has broken the rules of conduct.
If the SRA decide that there is not enough evidence for them to take action, they will usually tell the solicitor that
you have made a report, then close the file.
If the SRA decide that there is enough evidence, and that the matter is serious enough, they will investigate it
further. The first step will usually mean contacting the solicitor, showing the solicitor a copy of your letter, and
asking for an explanation. What further steps need to be taken will depend on the individual case.
Sometimes an investigation may take time to complete. This can be because:
• the investigation is complicated;
• the SRA are also dealing with other reports involving the same solicitor (which they cannot tell you about,
because they are confidential); or
• the SRA have decided that other matters they are dealing with involving other solicitors pose a greater risk,
and must take priority.
The SRA will make decisions about how to deal with reports about a solicitor's conduct, and what action to take
after an investigation, after they assess the risk caused in the particular circumstances. They will take account of
the effect that breaking the rules has had, and whether it is likely that the solicitor will repeat the behaviour.
The SRA may decide:
• that no action is necessary (for example, because no damage has been caused, and a repeat of the
behaviour is unlikely);
• to give the solicitor advice; or
• to give the solicitor a warning about their future conduct.
The SRA will deal with most cases in one of these three ways.
In more serious cases, the SRA may give the solicitor a reprimand. In a limited number of the most serious
cases, the SRA may need to refer the solicitor's conduct to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The tribunal is
independent of the SRA, and holds public hearings. Only the tribunal can fine a solicitor, suspend them from
practising or strike them off the roll (which means they cannot carry on practising as a solicitor).
The SRA have a procedure for dealing with all complaints they receive about their service. Please see page 8.
If you are not happy with how the SRA have handled your report, or with the decision they've taken, you can
contact the Legal Services Ombudsman. (You can find more information on pages 8 and 9.)
Other information about the SRA
An intervention is when the SRA close down a firm of solicitors. This can be for a number of reasons including if:
• the SRA believe that a solicitor has been dishonest or clients' money is at risk; or
• a solicitor who practises on their own cannot continue to practise because they are ill.
The SRA appoint a firm of solicitors to act as their agents to take possession of the clients' files and money. The
agents do not automatically act for the clients of the solicitors' firm that has closed. So if this happens, you will
need to find a new firm of solicitors to act on your behalf. The SRA cannot do this for you.
If your file is ongoing, the agents will pass the file to you or to your new firm. They do this by writing a letter to you
letting you know about the SRA closing down the firm and telling you that they have your file. You will have to
show proof of your identity so they can release the file to you.
If you are receiving legal aid, the agents must pass your file to a new firm of solicitors as they cannot send it
direct to you.
The agents will also try to distribute the money the solicitor was holding. However, this may take some time as
the agents will need to work out exactly who is entitled to what. The agents will not return completed files to
clients, but they do return the deeds and wills.
If the agents cannot find the money or papers which you think the solicitor was holding for you, the SRA's Post
Intervention Unit may be able to help you. Their address is on page 13.
The Compensation Fund
If the SRA's Post Intervention Unit cannot help you, the Compensation Fund may be able to help if you have
suffered financial loss due to a solicitor's dishonesty or a solicitor's failure to pay money he or she has received.
The fund may not be able to help you if you can recover the loss in some other way.
If you receive a payment from the fund, you may also receive interest and your new solicitor's costs if you have
asked him or her to help you make a claim.
If you want to apply to the fund, contact the SRA. They will give you more information and ask you to fill in an
application form. The address is on page 13.
A Compensation Fund caseworker will investigate your application and will let you know if they need more
information. The caseworker will help you with any questions you may have. When the investigation is complete,
an adjudicator will carefully consider your application before deciding whether or not to make a payment to you.
The Compensation Fund caseworker will tell you about the decision.
Legal Complaints Service
8 Dormer Place
Switchboard: 01926 820082
Helpline: 0845 608 6565
Minicom: 0845 601 1682
Fax: 01926 431435
The Compensation Fund
Solicitors Regulation Authority
8 Dormer Place
Phone: 01926 487015
Minicom: 01926 487020
Fax: 01926 487062
The Post Intervention Unit
Solicitors Regulation Authority
8 Dormer Place
Phone: 01926 487094
Minicom: 01926 487020
Fax: 01926 487094
Legal Services Ombudsman
Phone: 0845 601 0794 (calls to this number are charged at a lower rate)
Phone: 0161 839 7262
Fax: 0161 832 5446
115 to 123 Pentonville Road
Phone: 020 7833 2181
Web: www.adviceguide.org.uk (advice and information)
The Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
Phone: 020 7611 1444
Fax: 020 7611 1342
Council for Licensed Conveyancers
16 Glebe Road
Phone: 01245 349599
Fax: 01245 341300
Institute of Legal Executives
Phone: 01234 841000
Fax: 01234 840373
Isle of Man Law Society
27 Hope Street
Isle of Man
Phone: 01624 662910
Fax: 01624 679232
Jersey Law Society
40 Don Street
Phone: 01534 601700
Fax: 01534 601701
Law Society of Ireland
Phone: 00 353 1 672 4800
Fax: 00 353 1 672 4801
Law Society of Northern Ireland
Law Society House
98 Victoria Street
Phone: 02890 231614
Fax: 02890 232606
Law Society of Scotland
Client Relations and Complaints Office
26 Drumsheugh Gardens
Phone: 0845 113 0018
Fax: 0131 225 2934
Legal Services Commission
85 Gray's Inn Road
Phone: 0845 3454345
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
53 Tooley Street
Helpline: 0845 000 0046
Scottish Legal Complaints Commission
The Stamp Office
10-14 Waterloo Road
Phone: 0131 528 5111
Fax: 0131 528 5110
Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal
1 Farringdon Street
Phone: 020 7329 4808
Fax: 020 7329 4833
Supreme Courts Costs' Office
Phone: 020 7947 6000
Data protection notice
We will use the information you give us to investigate your complaint. We will not use that information for any
other purpose without your permission. We will have to reveal your information to the firm or solicitor you have
complained about. We may also have to reveal that information to our agents (people acting on our behalf) and to
others involved in:
• the complaints process;
• regulating the legal and other professions; or
• law enforcement generally.
We may also reveal certain information, on a confidential basis, to the research organisations we use to measure
our customer satisfaction levels. If you do not want us to do this in your case, please contact our information
compliance manager (the address is below).
To help us keep a record of solicitors' professional details, we will have to keep your complaint information after
we have dealt with the complaint itself.
If any of the information you have given us is sensitive or personal under the Data Protection Act 1998 (for
example, information about your health), you agree to us holding that information if you go ahead with your
You can apply to us for a copy of your information (for which we may charge a fee), and to have any mistakes
corrected. You should contact our information compliance manager at:
113 Chancery Lane
Legal Complaints Service
8 Dormer Place
DX 292320 Leamington Spa 4
Switchboard: 01926 820082
Helpline: 0845 608 6565
Minicom: 0845 601 1682
Fax: 01926 431435
For alternative formats, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
telephone 01926 823170
Making a Complaint against your legal representative
The handling of complaints about solicitors has now passed to the Legal Ombudsman, instead of lcs Legal Complaints Service.
To complain about your solicitor please contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333.
To complain about a solicitor that has worked for someone else then please contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority on 0870 606 2555.
Looking to instruct a solicitor, please use the Find a solicitor
If you are a solicitor and would like advice and support on handling complaints please contact the Law Society.
Sometimes, complaints are made on behalf of people who have impaired mental capacity. (Impaired mental capacity means that someone cannot make a decision because of his or her mental state or is not able to communicate that decision, or a combination of the two.) If you make a complaint and have a court of protection order or an enduring power of attorney, we will deal with the complaint as if it were made by the client. If you do not make the complaint under either a protection order or power of attorney, we may not be able to deal with it in this way. In these circumstances, we may need to carry out some enquiries before we can make any decision to investigate the complaint. If we decide not to investigate, we will tell you. If the complaint is upheld after an investigation, the client will receive any compensation or other award