The Independent Complaints Review Service (ICRS), operated by CEDR Services, forms part of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA’s) approach to handling complaints about the SRA’s work. It has two distinct roles:
- To provide independent oversight of the way that the SRA carries out its complaints handling functions – we do this by conducting an independent audit
of SRA’s complaints handling.
- To provide a final independent response for those complaints that SRA cannot resolve internally.
For those cases that the independent complaints reviewer decides are appropriate for a full review, he or she will conduct a review of the papers to consider whether:
- the investigation was thorough and fair
- all the relevant facts were taken into account
- the conclusions reached (in respect of complaints about the service provided by the SRA) were reasonable and properly explained; and
- the investigation was handled efficiently, without unnecessary delay.
Where a complaint has been upheld or partially upheld by the independent complaints reviewer, he or she will provide a full explanation for any poor service and may require the SRA to provide one or more of the following remedies:
- an apology
- appropriate action to rectify the situation for the complainant, such as an extension of time to respond to a deadline
- appropriate action to improve the SRA's practices or procedures
- an ex gratia payment made in line with SRA's special payments guidance