Welcome to website of the Lay Observer for Northern Ireland. | The Lay Observer for Northern Ireland

Welcome to website of the Lay Observer for Northern Ireland.

The Lay Observer receives and examines guidelines about the complaints process operated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and about the way the Client Complaints Committee in the Law Society handles complaints about solicitors.

The Lay Observer:

  • Comments on the process used by the Law Society and on the quality of the service provided;
  • Examines individual allegations about the way the Society has treated a particular complaint;
  • Makes a formal annual report to the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, the Government and the Council of the Law Society on the nature of complaints to the Society and how they are dealt with.

Please note that The Lay Observer is a lay person. He is therefore not legally qualified, and nor is he permitted to be, under the legislation.  He can therefore not give you legal opinion.

The legislation under which The Lay Observer operates is the Solicitors Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, and Solicitors (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

At present there is a Review taking place of the legislation covering the Regulation of Legal Services in Northern Ireland.  This Review is under the Chairmanship of Professor Sir George Bain.  The Review will likely result in a change in the legislation governing the work and remit of The Lay Observer.