The Swedish Bar Association’s Consumer Disputes Committee received approval as an alternative dispute entity on 11 January 2016.
It was founded to adjudicate disputes between a consumer and a member of the Swedish Bar Association or a law firm regarding services provided to the consumer by a member or law firm. By consumer is referred to any physical person who is acting outside of the scope of his or her own commercial or professional activities.
If the client is unsatisfied with the service provided by the attorney at law, the client should contact the attorney at law to discuss the issue and search for a mutual agreement.
If a case has been opened at the attorney’s insurer, the question must be solved within the limits of the insurance contract before the consumer can turn to the Consumer Disputes Committee. An insurance case is therefore to be regarded as part of the agreement, and is to be settled before a case can be initiated at the Consumer Disputes Committee. If in spite of that, such a case is filed to the Consumer Disputes Committee, the committee will consider it resting until the insurance case has been settled.
If the parties find it impossible to reach an agreement, the client can ask to get his or her case tried within the framework of the Consumer Disputes Committee. An attorney is forced to participate in the following examination by the Consumer Disputes Committee if such an agreement is not at hand.
If the client has failed to contact the attorney to discuss the complaint in order to reach an agreement prior to putting his or her case to the Consumer Disputes Committee, the Consumer Disputes Committee has the right to reject the case.
For a case to be tried before the Consumer Disputes Committee, it cannot be handled by, or already settled in a court of law.
For a case to be opened, the client must turn to the Consumer Disputes Committee within a year after a written formal complaint has been put forward to the attorney.