OUR POLICY FOR DEALING WITH CLIENT COMPLAINTS
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service for each of our clients. If something goes wrong please do tell us about it as this will help us to improve our service. Although not essential, if you have not already done so, when making a complaint it would be extremely helpful if you could provide us with full and clear details of your concerns in writing.
The senior member of our firm responsible for investigating and responding to complaints is Rob Adam although very occasionally he is assisted by Michael Batty. Both Rob and Michael report to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, Andrew Cooper. Rob or Michael will liaise with the supervising partner in respect of your matter and, if applicable, your client partner in respect of any complaint but will retain overall responsibility for the investigative procedures.
Rob’s contact details are:-
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
DD: 01284 717448
Andrew’s contact details are:
E-mail address: email@example.com
DD: 01284 717511
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We will acknowledge your complaint in writing and may ask you to confirm or explain any details. We will also confirm who will be dealing with the matter. You can expect to receive our acknowledgement within 3 working days of our receiving your complaint.
We will then begin our investigation. This may involve further discussion with you, in person or on the telephone, to resolve the issue.
We will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter and will ordinarily be sent within 15 working days of receiving your complaint. If we require longer we will let you know.
If your complaint is resolved, all well and good. However, if you remain dissatisfied, please write to us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. Another senior member of the firm not previously involved with the complaint will review the matter.
We will write to you to let you know the result of the review and to confirm the firm’s final position on your complaint, explaining our reasons. Our review decision will ordinarily be sent within 15 working days of receiving your review request. If we require longer we will let you know.
If within 40 working days (or such longer period as we may have notified to you) of receiving your complaint it has not been resolved to your satisfaction we will write to inform you:-
(a) of your right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, the time frame for doing so and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman; and
(b) if our complaints procedure has been exhausted:-
i) that we cannot settle the complaint;
ii) but there are approved alternative dispute resolution (ADR) bodies competent to deal with the complaint and we will provide you with the address of at least one such body; and
iii) whether we agree to use the scheme operated by that body.
More information about the Legal Ombudsman and ADR providers is set out below.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If you remain dissatisfied you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007, that deals with legal services complaints. The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are as follows: –
PO Box 6167
The Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules have changed with effect from 1st April 2023. As a result the time limits for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman are now not later than: –
- One year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
- One year from the date when a complainant should have realised that there was cause for complaint.
Full details of the revised Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules can be found on the Ombudsman’s website.
Alternative complaint bodies (such as Ombudsman Services (www.ombudsman-services.org), ProMediate (www.promediate.co.uk) and Small Claims Mediation (www.small-claimsmediation.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
We are happy to agree to use such a scheme in appropriate circumstances.
We are committed to dealing with your concerns as quickly as practicable in all of the circumstances but, if we are unlikely to be able to provide a response within any of the anticipated timescales, we will let you know and explain why.