We do our best to provide an excellent service to all clients, but it is possible that clients will sometimes be disappointed about some aspect of our service in which case it is important that we know about the problem and have the opportunity to address it. We therefore operate a complaints handling policy as also required by chapter 1 of the Code of Conduct. In the first instance, however, please let any of us know about any concerns that you have about our services to you so that we can do our best to put things right at the earliest available opportunity. You might want to complain about the contents of our advice, the way in which our service is being delivered or the amount of any bill but we obviously hope that you will not feel the need to do so.
If we are unable to resolve issues at the outset we then operate a more formal complaints handling process as follows. Please contact the Managing Partner if you do which to pursue any issue through this process. Our policy is to review the matter within the timeframe below. Where this is not possible to do so we will notify you and explain the reasons for the delay.
|Acknowledge complaint in writing and send a copy of the complaints procedure||Within two working days|
|Investigate the issues||Within 14 days of receiving the complaint|
|Invite the person making the complaint to a meeting or to discuss the issues by telephone||On conclusion of investigation|
|Confirm the outcome of the meeting or telephone conversation in writing||Within three working days|
|If a meeting/telephone discussion is not possible or required:
Investigate the issues and write to the person with the outcome. If appropriate, this will include our suggestions for resolving the matter.
|Within 21 working days|
|Review and close the complaint||Within 8 weeks of receiving the complaint|
It is unlikely that any of our clients would qualify for the services provided by the Legal Ombudsman to investigate any complaint they might make since that service is limited to individuals and certain small business concerns such as those qualifying as micro-enterprises. To ascertain whether the Legal Ombudsman would be able to deal with your complaint you should contact them on 0300 555 0333 (inside the UK) or +44 121 245 3050 for international callers) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to the Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Alternatively you can visit their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk where a list of who they are able to assist is given. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six years of the date of the act or omission which you wish to complain about or within three years of the date you should have discovered the complaint. There is a time limit of 6 months from our notifying you of our decision within which any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should be made.
If your complaint relates to the amount of any bill you may have the right to apply to the court for an assessment of a bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. There are time limits to this procedure and you might want to seek independent legal advice if pursuing this option.
Finally, if you are concerned about the behaviour of our firm as opposed to the service you have received you can contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This could be for things such as dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You can contact the SRA by telephone on 0370 606 2555 (inside the UK) or on +44 (0)121 329 6800 (for international callers), by using their website at www.sra.org.uk or in writing to Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN.