1. Our Complaints Policy
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong or we fall short of your expectations, we would like you to tell us so that we can put things right for you. This will also help us to improve our service standards in the future.
2. Our Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint, contact us with the details. Ideally, we would like this to be in writing, but you can call or email if you prefer.
3. Who should you contact?
In the first instance, you should contact the person who has been dealing with your matter. He/she will try hard to address your concerns and agree with you a solution and the best way forward.
If you are not happy after this stage or you would rather not contact the person dealing with your matter about your concerns or complaint, you should contact the person named in the Engagement Letter as the supervisor for the matter when you first instructed us or the person named at the same time as the person who deals with client complaints.
4. What will happen next?
4.1 Within 3 working days of the receipt of your complaint, we will acknowledge your complaint by the same means we received it [typically by letter, email or phone] and usually asking you to confirm or explain the details set out in our understanding of the complaint.
There may be certain circumstances that do not allow us to acknowledge receipt of your complaints within 3 working days. We will explain those circumstances when we do acknowledge. It is likely that you will receive this copy of our complaints handling procedure at the time we acknowledge your complaint.
4.2 Complaints received by us in writing i.e. letter or email or are dealt with by someone other than the person with the day-to-day responsibility for your work are treated as formal and are therefore, subject to central control by the principal.
4.3 The acknowledgement letter we send to you will provide information about how your complaint will be resolved including:
- The name of the person dealing with your complaint
- The process the person named above will go through to investigate your complaint including as appropriate, one or more of the following options:
- A request for you to provide written confirmation of the circumstances of your complaint [particularly if your complaint was not received in writing initially]
- Invitation to a meeting to discuss your complaint – you may refuse this invitation but it may be helpful in establishing facts and finding an acceptable resolution for you.
- Meeting with the lawyer concerned to discuss your complaints
- Inspection of the file of papers relating to your matter
- Timetable of events leading to resolution of your complaint
- We will carry out these investigations with a view to responding, with our findings and suggestions for a resolution of the issues arising, within 21 working days.
- There may be circumstances where it is not possible to respond fully to you within 21 working days. We will provide you with the reasons for this together with a revised time frame for our response.
- All matters connected with your complaint will be recorded centrally for future review to ensure that it was been handled effectively and efficiently.
- If at any point during this process you are not happy with how your complaint is being handled or the timescale we have set, please contact us immediately.
- When we have agreed the resolution to your complaint, we will confirm this in writing and then carry out the agreed actions within the agreed timeframe.
5. What if you are still not satisfied?
We will try very hard to deal with any complaints or dissatisfaction about our service. If you remain unhappy after we have tried to resolve your complaint, you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman. This is the independent body that reports direct to the Legal Services Board about all complaints about legal services. They can be contacted via the internet:www.legalombudsman.org.uk, by phone on 0300 555 0333 or you can write to: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
You should note that the Legal Ombudsman will only investigate complaints against legal service providers after 8 weeks has elapsed from the date you first complained. This is to provide them with time to resolve your complaint without needing to refer to the Ombudsman. In any event, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the last contact from us about your complaint.
Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate UK Ltd [www.promediate.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. Currently, we do not agree to use such services.