We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all of our clients. Sometimes, however, things go wrong and very often this is not really anyone’s fault. On other occasions you may feel that there is something more that we could have done about it. You are entitled to complain to us. For this reason we have a policy for dealing with these concerns. Operating this policy will also help us to improve our standards.
Our policy is designed to help both you and us resolve the issues as quickly and as amicably as we can, and also to comply with guidance provided by the Legal Ombudsman.
This is how the procedure works: When we send you our terms and conditions of business at the beginning of your matter we also send you a letter accepting your instructions and giving you details of the people who will be dealing with your matter in our office. If you wish to flag up something to us about our service, here is the order in which it will be dealt with:
Contact the person dealing with your case. This person will try to work out the difficulty with you as soon as possible, and will aim to respond within 7 working days. If this is not possible, he or she will write to you and explain when you will receive a response, which ordinarily should be within three weeks of your original complaint.
If you do not feel that this has been successful then the person dealing will refer the matter to the complaints partner. You may also contact the complaints partner direct. If the difficulty concerns that partner, then it will be referred to a different partner who is not involved with your matter.
The complaints partner will write to you within 7 days of the matter being referred to him/her and ask you to let him have further details preferably in writing although an initial telephone call may be able to resolve the matter quickly if it is straightforward.
The partner will then investigate the complaint and respond to you as quickly as possible, and within 6 weeks in any event. That partner will also record details of your complaint in a central register which is kept in the office for these purposes.
If you are not satisfied with the response of the complaints partner you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted by post, at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, by telephone, on 0300 555 0333, or on their website, at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
Please note that there are strict time limits for a complaint to be made to the Legal Ombudsman. Your complaint must be filed:
Within six months of receiving our final response letter; AND
No more than six years from the date of the act/omission; OR
No more than three years from when you should reasonable have known there was a cause for complaint.
If you have any questions about time limits please contact the Legal Ombudsman.
Your right to complain includes the right to complain about our bill; you may complain about our bill by following the above procedure, or by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Note that the Legal Ombudsman may not deal with a complaint about the bill if you have applied to the court for an assessment of the bill.
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