There are some issues that we cannot take forwards with an investigation. There might not be enough evidence. Alternatively, the problem may not be one that we can investigate under our rules (Enforcement Rules). For example, the complaint is about the service provided and not about misconduct. In most cases we cannot investigate service complaints and can only investigate such a complaint in exceptional circumstances.
We will always ask that you have spoken to our member and their firm to try and resolve the problem before we can consider your problem.
We have certain powers if we can prove that a regulated person or firm has done something wrong. However, we do not have the power to require an admission or apology.
Some complaints will take longer to investigate than others, for example, if there is an ongoing investigation with another regulator or the police we may have to put our investigation on hold until this is completed.
If you want to make a complaint about costs, you need to complain to the individual and/or firm that carried out the legal work for you. If you are not happy with their response, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman.
If a person is either a Chartered Legal Executive or CILEx Practitioner their details will usually be in the CILEx Authorised Practitioners Directory. If not, then you can contact us to enquire. However, if a person is not a member of CILEx, then we cannot take any action against them.
You will need to contact CILEx to explain the situation. The action they are likely to take is to contact the person involved and require them to stop referring to themselves as a legal professional.
As a regulator we are neutral. We do not act for you or for an individual or firm that we regulate. If we have been informed that a person or firm has behaved in such a way that they have breached our Code of Conduct, then we are required to carry on with our investigation in the public interest.
In most cases we will need to ask you questions to make sure we fully understand your complaint. We may need to ask for other information, so we can take our investigation forwards and successfully take a case to tribunal if necessary.
PCP meetings are usually held in private. However, in some cases the PCP may seek further information from you before reaching a decision. This will usually be a written request for information. We will let you know if and when the PCP need any information from you.
All hearings are open to the public except, where it is decided that the circumstances of the case outweigh the public interest. You can choose to attend any DT hearing that is being held publicly by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for permission.
If you have provided information about a case, we may ask you for a formal witness statement, for use in our disciplinary hearings. We may also ask you to give evidence at a hearing. However, we will let you know more about this if and when we need you to do so.
CILEx Regulation cannot award compensation through its disciplinary and enforcement processes.
If someone at a firm that we oversee made a mistake that has caused you problems, you may be able to make a claim for negligence to the firm’s Professional Indemnity Insurer. The firm should have a certificate of insurance with details of their insurer.
If you were a client of a firm that we oversee, and someone at the firm acted dishonestly and used your money, or did not repay your money back to you, you may be able to make a claim for compensation from the CILEx Compensation fund. More information about the compensation fund scheme can be found here.
Where a member of the public raises concerns, that person is an information-provider highlighting potential conduct matters for regulation purposes rather than a service user making a complaint. Regulators obtain relevant information, including from the complainant, seek legal advice and come to an objective judgement on whether a successful prosecution is likely. A regulator’s role and objective is not to resolve a complaint to the complainant’s satisfaction in the way a utility company complaints process seeks to resolve a complaint. In fact, unsurprisingly it is not uncommon for complainants to regulators to disagree with the regulator’s decision, but the role of the regulator is to make the decision neutrally and objectively.