We are committed to delivering high quality legal advice and client care. As a firm we have attained numerous accreditations and awards over our long history, so the quality of service to you is very important to us. However, on occasion, mistakes are made or you may feel that the level of service was not what you had expected and it is important that, on those rare occasions, you feel there is way to make your feelings heard. We want to hear from you if you feel this way because it helps us, in the short term to restore your confidence in us and, in the longer term, to improve our service levels.
We aim to resolve all complaints quickly and fairly so that you are not left waiting for a resolution because it is important that we can get matters back on track to get the outcome you need in your case.
Our complaints procedure is as follows:
We define a complaint as any expression of client dissatisfaction which is not resolved at the initial stage (Stage 1).
In the initial stage, if you are unhappy about any aspect of the service or about the bill, please contact the fee-earner detailed in your initial letter, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
The fee-earner concerned will respond to your complaint and enclose with the response our Complaints Policy Leaflet. If you do not feel that the fee-earner has resolved matters and you still have queries or concerns, please contact Jeremy Rawson who is the Complaints Partner to whom any final issues can be reported (Stage 2).
The Complaints Partner will record your complaint in the firm’s Complaints Record held on our case management system and your own file. They will register your complaint within 2 working days of receipt of the complaint.
The Complaints Partner will write to you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days of receipt of the complaint, sending you the Complaint Form to complete.
You will be asked to complete the Complaint Form and return it to the Complaints Partner. Once we have received the full details of your complaint the Complaints Partner will investigate it.
The Complaints Partner will consider the evidence and opinions provided and speak to any staff who have are the subject of the complaint or ask them to provide him with a written response. He will then prepare a response for you. The target for this is seven working days from the date of receipt of the complaint, although it can take longer (if this is the case we will let you know the time span for resolving matters with you).
In preparing the response the Complaints Partner will analyse the complaint, identify the cause of any problem, offer you an appropriate redress and consider whether it is necessary to correct any unsatisfactory procedure. You will also be offered the opportunity to meet to discuss the investigation.
If a meeting is declined or is for some reason impractical we will write to you again in an endeavour to resolve the complaint to our mutual satisfaction within 5 working days of your decision to decline a meeting.
If, at a meeting or from your written reply to our detailed written response, you remain dissatisfied with what we have said and how we propose resolving your complaint, we will arrange for our decision to be reviewed. This may happen in one of the following ways: –
Our own review of our handling of your complaint and why you are dissatisfied with our decision, we will complete this review within 5 working days of your letter of dissatisfaction or
If you wish, by arranging for someone else in the firm who is entirely unconnected with the complaint to review how it was handled and the decision taken. In this instance the we will respond to you within 10 working days or
Where there is no other alternative which we both feel is likely to lead to resolution we will ask our local law society or another local firm of solicitors to review our handling of, and the decision on, your complaint (if they are willing to do this). This might take the form of mediation or some other type of alternative dispute resolution. We will aim to complete this review within 10 working days of your letter of dissatisfaction (please note that, due to the involvement of external third parties, this deadline date may not be achievable
After the review has taken place you will be informed of the outcome, within 5 working days of the conclusion of the review.
Please note that we do have up to 8 weeks to investigate and deal with your complaint but you will see from our procedure that we aim to process any complaints much more quickly than that. If you remain dissatisfied with the response, you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman to investigate your complaint (Stage 3)
We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and complaints and redress mechanisms are provided through the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Legal Ombudsman.
All firms of solicitors are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that clients may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you immediately raise your concerns with us.
If we are unable to resolve any such concerns to your satisfaction within 8 weeks then you are entitled to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman – https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/ – P.O. Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.
Complaints about a client’s rights under the General Data Protection Regulation must be submitted to the Information Commissioner’s Office – ico.org.uk
Any disputes or legal issue arising from our Client Care and Terms of Business will be determined by the law of England & Wales and considered exclusively by the English & Welsh courts.