Our complaints procedure
MAKING A COMPLAINT
This guidance and reporting procedure is aimed at and to be used by any client of the firm wishing to make a complaint.
A Complaint is defined as a report by a client that their expectations of what they consider to be a good service have not been met.
A client is an individual or an organisation for whom this firm acts for which includes prospective and former clients.
2. OUR COMPLAINTS POLICY
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all of our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us improve our client service standards and the way in which we provide our legal services to clients.
3. KEY PERSONNEL
DAVID HALL – David Hall (Solicitor/Director) is our Complaints Officer. In addition to this duty, he is also the Head of our Debt Litigation Department.
JOHN GOODWIN – John Goodwin (Solicitor/Director) is our Deputy Complaints Officer and is also Head of our Crime, Fraud & Regulatory Department.
4. OUR COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
In the first instance, we ask that you set out your complaint in writing and forward this via email to email@example.com or alternatively via post to:
For the attention of David Hall
If the complaint is with regard to David Hall then please forward your correspondence to our Deputy Complaints Officer, John Goodwin via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively using the postal address above.
5. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT
Either the Complaints Officer or the Deputy Complaints Officer will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint within five working days of receipt. If there are any further details the Complaints Officers require they will request these from you.
Your letter of complaint will be recorded on our central complaints register and a separate file will be opened to progress and deal with your complaint. A complaints file will be opened within two days of receipt of your complaint.
We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps:-
David Hall (or John Goodwin) will ask the member of staff who acted on your matter to provide comments on the complaint within 10 working days. He will then examine their reply
If the complaint relates to a long-standing matter, which may have a number of correspondence files and ring binders of documents, analysis, and response to the complaint might take longer than these time limits and you will be informed in writing.
David Hall (or John Goodwin) will then write to you with their findings and any proposals to settle the complaint. This will be within 5 working days of the last stage.
If appropriate it may be necessary to telephone you to discuss the complaint and/or arrange a meeting.
At this stage if you are not satisfied you are free to contact David Hall or John Goodwin again to discuss the complaint further. We will then review our decision. This will happen by another director of the firm reviewing David Hall’s, or John Goodwin’s decision within 10 days.
We will let you know the result of the review within five days of the end of the review. At this stage, we will write to you confirming our final position on the complaint and explaining our reasons.
7. LEGAL OMBUDSMAN
If we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction then you are entitled to contact the Legal Ombudsman. Their contact details are as follows:-
Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 5550333
Time limits for complaints to Legal Ombudsman
In the first instance, you should complain to us in writing and we will follow the procedure set out above. If you are not happy with our final response then you may make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or alternatively, if you complain to us and you have not had a response within 8 weeks then you are entitled to raise your concerns with the Legal Ombudsman at that stage.
Your complaint should be made no longer than:
one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
one year from the date when the complainant should have realised that there was cause for complaint.
There are certain exceptions to all these rules and the full details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman website at Section 4 of the document entitled “Scheme Rules” available at https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/corporate-publications/scheme-rules/.
8. SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY (SRA)
Reports about our conduct (behaviour), rather than about our service levels, can be made to the SRA. To visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the SRA, please see www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page
9. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Alternative complaints bodies, such as ProMediate UK Ltd (www.promediate.co.uk) exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and this firm wish to use such a scheme. We do not agree to use the scheme operated by ProMediate UK Ltd as we believe the Legal Ombudsman is better equipped to resolve complaints against legal firms.
10. REMEDIES UNDER THIS POLICY
Any Complaint made by you will either be upheld or not upheld and the reasons for the decision will be put to the client in writing.
The lawyer who is the main handler of your matter will also be informed of the decision in writing.
If your complaint is upheld an appropriate remedy will be offered to you.
If your complaint is not upheld you have the right to appeal or refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman as discussed above at point 6 and 7.
This policy will be monitored periodically by the firm to judge its effectiveness. The firm has appointed David Hall to be responsible for the operation of the policy. In particular, the firm will monitor the number of complaints received and the handlers of such client matters and will review its Complaints Policy in accordance with the results shown by the monitoring. If changes are required, the firm will implement them. Any developments of the firm’s strategic and business plans, or changes in this manual, will similarly be examined in order to ensure that no inadvertent breach of the policy occurs.
We are fully committed to Client Service and Standards. Every client should receive a consistent and high level of client service stipulated by the firm and the firm’s benchmark. No Client should tolerate anything other than the highest standards.