OUR COMPLAINTS POLICY
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to review and improve our standards even further.
OUR COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
If you have a complaint, every effort will be made through a formal enquiry procedure to understand and deal with the issues that you raise. The complaint will be dealt with in an objective way, based on the available information, and you will not be charged for our time in dealing with your complaint.
We would ask you in the first instance to write to or telephone the supervisor who has overall supervision responsibility for your case. Details of that person were included in the first letter you received from us. If the supervisor is unable to resolve your complaint the matter will be escalated to our Client Care Director, Ross Carr.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers.
What will happen next?
- Details of your complaint will be acknowledged, confirming who will be dealing with the matter. You can expect to receive our acknowledgement within 3 working days of us receiving your complaint. In our acknowledgement we may seek to clarify the precise details of your complaint and what you want the outcome to be. If we do this we will ask for your response within a specified time scale.
- We will record your complaint in our central register (for monitoring and management information purposes) and open a separate file for your complaint.
- We will then start to investigate your complaint, alternatively our investigation will being once you have provided any clarification and/or desired outcome, as referred to above. The investigation may involve one or more of the following steps:
- We may ask the member of staff involved with your case to provide information in order to assist in the response to your complaint. We will examine their reply and the information in your complaint file.
- In all cases we will carefully consider your complaint, investigate the matters you have raised and address each point in a reply to you.
- In some cases we will offer you the opportunity of meeting a supervisor or Director to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. This meeting should take place within 7 working days of acknowledging your complaint.
Within 2 days of that meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.
If you do not want a meeting or a meeting is not required, then we will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter. This will happen within 5 working days of us completing the investigation.
In all cases where no meeting takes place we will complete our investigation in to your complaint within 10 working days.
- At this stage, if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision, which will be concluded within 7 working days of you contacting us.
- We will take into account any additional comments that you may wish to make and you may be telephoned to discuss the matter before reaching a decision. We will respond to you normally within 5 working days of the end of the review.
- At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. Should you wish to refer any remaining concerns to the Legal Ombudsman, which is the official Law Society complaints handling body, their address is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
- If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
Legal Ombudsman Time Limits
The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.
The Legal Ombudsman will usually expect you to have given the firm an opportunity to resolve your complaint. If you are eligible to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, you can use the Legal Ombudsman:
- if your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks of your complaint being made to the firm;
- if the Legal Ombudsman considers that there are exceptional reasons to consider your complaint sooner, or without it having been made first to the firm; or
- where the Legal Ombudsman considers that in-house resolution at the firm is not possible due to irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between the firm and you.
Furthermore, provided that the firm’s written response to a complaint included prominently:
- an explanation that the Legal Ombudsman was available if you remained dissatisfied;
- full contact details for the Legal Ombudsman; and
- a warning that the complaint must be referred to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of the date of the written response, then you must ordinarily refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of the date of that written response from the firm.
Complaints to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) authorise and regulate solicitors, firms, other types of lawyers and non-lawyers and they ensure compliance with the SRA Principles, which can be found here: https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/principles/
The SRA ensure those that they regulate behave independently, fairly and with integrity to best serve the interests of their clients and the public interest.
You can complain to the SRA where you believe there has been a breach of the SRA principles. The SRA do not deal with issues of poor service. For further details of what you may complain to the SRA about, how and when you should do this, follow this link to their website: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/