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Solicitors targeted as public vent fury

THE Law Society has been receiving an increasing number of abusive calls from the public complaining about solicitors.

Some calls were so abusive that the society considered calling gardai.

Staff at the Law Society office, which oversees the handling of complaints against solicitors, have been subjected to "an ever-increasing volume of harassing and abusive calls".

Carol Ann Casey, the independent adjudicator of the Law Society of Ireland, has confirmed in her annual report that she almost called the gardai last year after three complainants were "particularly offensive" to her office staff.

As adjudicator Ms Casey's role is to ensure complaints about the conduct of solicitors are dealt with fairly and impartially by the society.





Abusive

Her role is to be taken over by the new legal services ombudsman and preliminary interviews for the new position have taken place in recent weeks.

In what is expected to be her final report, Ms Casey said many of the abusive calls came from members of the public with "unreal expectations".

During last year, members of the public lodged 183 requests for investigations into the way the Law Society dealt with complaints. This compared with 146 the previous year.

Last year, one in 10 complaints were upheld and referred back to the society. Most of the complaints related to allegations of overcharging, shoddy work, delays and failures to communicate.

csheehy@herald.ie