Law body `failing to handle problems'.
The Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman said the Law Society of Scotland refused to investigate complaints in too many cases.
And even when they did investigate, the society was often not "fair and thorough".
The Ombudsman's annual report listed a record 242 complaints against the way in which the legal profession dealt with disputes - up 42 per cent on the previous year.
Ombusdman Linda Costelloe Baker said: "The society's current complaints system fails both the ordinary person and the solicitor.
"I found the society had failed to investigate a complaint fairly or thoroughly in half of the cases I examined."
She also said the complaints procedure was "complex, lengthy and bureaucratic".
She said: "Some 874 people had the door closed in their face because the Law Society refused to investigate their complaints.
"One hundred wrote to me and I found that the Law Society is still rejecting far too many complaints that it should be investigating."
Law Society president Joe Platt said the rise in complaints was the "natural result of an open and accessible system".
But he rejected claims the society was failing to investigate as many complaints as it should. He said: "All complaints are considered but many complaints we receive are not about solicitors or not within the society's remit."
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jul 9, 2003|
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