Complaints Handling Procedure
We are committed to high quality legal advice and client care and are keen to resolve any concerns as soon as possible and in order to do this, will follow our complaints handling procedure.
Our complaints procedure is as follows:
If they have not already done so, we ask our clients to let us know the full nature of the problem.
Our Complaints Handling Representative will write to the client acknowledging their complaint within five working days. In this letter, we shall confirm what happens next.
Our complaints Handling Representative shall then investigate the matter by reviewing the matter file and speaking to the member of staff concerned within five working days of acknowledging receipt of the complaint. If, for some reason, the matter cannot be investigated in this timeframe, then we will write to the client notifying them of this together with the reason why and giving a revised timescale.
Once the investigation has been completed, our Complaints Handling Representative shall invite the client to a meeting to discuss the issue(s) they have raised and hopefully resolve the complaint. This meeting will take place within fourteen days of sending the acknowledgement letter to the client. Following the meeting, our Complaints Handling Representative shall write to the client within five working days of the meeting to confirm the discussion and the solution agreed upon.
If the client does not want to or is unable to attend such a meeting (or the meeting is not necessary), we will be happy to send the client a detailed, written response, including the proposed solution, within fourteen working days of sending the letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint.
If the client is satisfied with our response following the above steps, that will be the end of the matter. However, if the client is not satisfied, they will be invited to contact our Complaints Handling Representative again and he will arrange for another Partner who is unconnected with the matter to review the decision. They will write to the client within fourteen days of receiving the request with confirmation of the firm’s final position in relation to the complaint, outlining the reasons and any final redress that is offered.
Step Five: Other avenues
Clients must always try complaining to us first. In most cases they will not be able to take their complaint further without allowing us the opportunity to put things right.
We are permitted a minimum of eight weeks to consider the complaint. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us within that timeframe, then our clients are advised that they may ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint.
Clients are free to refer any complaint about our work, fees or level of service but there are some conditions and time limits. Please be aware that any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of the client having received a final written response from us about their complaint. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six years of the act or omission about which the client is complaining occurring; or within three years from when the client should have known about or become aware that there were grounds for complaint. The Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness was before 6 October 2010.
For further information, please contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or visit www.legalombudsman.org.uk. The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
Solicitors Regulation Authority
If someone thinks a solicitor might be dishonest or you have concerns about their ethics or integrity, they have the right to notify our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). There are no time limits for making a report but there are limits on what the SRA will consider. Please note that the SRA is not able to deal with issues of poor service (complaints of this nature should instead be referred to the Legal Ombudsman). For further information about the SRA’s role, please contact the SRA or visit: