Complaints Procedure

1. Our complaints policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we appreciate you telling us about it. This will enable us to address the matter and where appropriate offer a remedy, and it will help us to improve our standards.

2. How to communicate your complaint

If you have a complaint, please write to us with the details.

3. Who will deal with your complaint

Your complaint will be passed to the partner of this practice who has or had overall responsibility for your matter. However, if your complaint is against that partner, then your complaint will be passed to another partner of this practice (who will be known for the purposes of this procedure as “the complaints handling partner”).

4. What will happen next

4.1 Within eight days of receiving your complaint, we will send you a letter acknowledging receipt. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.

4.2 We will also record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint.

4.3 The complaint will be investigated. This will normally involve the person investigating the complaint in one or more of the following steps:

  • Reviewing the file and any associated documents for the matter to which the complaint relates;
  • Interviewing and discussing the position with those concerned within the firm;
  • Seeking any further clarification which we require from you;
  • If it seems appropriate, we may at this stage suggest a meeting to obtain details or to discuss matters with you.

4.4 The person investigating the complaint will then write to you to report his or her findings. We aim to do this within 21 days of acknowledging your complaint. If for any reason the 21 days cannot be achieved (for example, because individuals are absent or because further information is required from you or from third parties), we will explain why and endeavour to agree a revised date. We will update you on the progress of your complaint at no greater than 14-day intervals.

4.5 When we report our findings to you, we may make suggestions for resolving the matter.

4.6 At this stage, when you receive our report of our findings, if you are still not satisfied, please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to complete this review within 21 days. It will happen in one of the following ways:

  1. (a)  If possible, another partner of this practice or a consultant (who has not previously been involved in the matter, or in the investigation of the complaint) will review the decision.
  2. (b)  We may ask our local law society or another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint. We will let you know how long this process will take.
  3. (c)  We may invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take.

If the review is going to take more than 21 days, for example, because further investigation is required, we will let you know.

4.7 We will let you know the result of the review within seven days of its completion. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint, and we shall explain our reasons. If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved in your complaint. We will confirm their details, which are set out below, at that time.

4.8 Please note that any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman about our service must usually be made within six months of you receiving a final written response from us about your complaint,

The time limit can be checked by looking at the Legal Ombudsman website or by telephoning the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333. If you miss their time limit, they may not be able to investigate your complaint.

5. Legal Ombudsman

The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are as follows:

Address: PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Phone: 0300 555 0333 (helpline) 0121 245 3050 (switchboard)

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk