A formal complaint arises either when a client requests a copy of our complaint’s procedure in order to register a complaint or, makes a formal complaint in writing or when the person representing that particular client is unable on his/her own to satisfy a client who complains in any way.
Despite all our best efforts to meet and hopefully exceed our clients’ expectations, a complaint will arise from time to time. Our policy is to resolve complaints promptly, fairly and effectively because:
Our clients are entitled to expect this from us.
Complaints are usually better dealt with quickly.
It is good practise.
How we handle complaints
The Legal Ombudsman refers to a 3 stage process with which we agree – (i) listen, (ii) inform and (iii) respond. Our managing partner will ensure that he understands what your complaint is about before he begins to investigate it.
- Once we receive your complaint we will confirm receipt of it within 3 working days (by return if possible) and provide you with a copy of this procedure.
- If the matter about which you have complained is ongoing, you should feel free and have confidence to continue to work with the person who is representing or advising you. Our managing partner will not take over your legal work but will happily discuss with you whether someone else should.
- Our managing partner may consider with you the options you would like him to cover – whether it relates to getting something back on track quickly, changing to a different lawyer if appropriate or possible, a reflection of your dissatisfaction in our fees or anything else – there is no one size that fits all.
- There is no charge for dealing with your complaint.
- Our managing partner will try to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible. We have 8 weeks from acknowledging your complaint but we would hope to be able to resolve it within that time. If for any reason it cannot be resolved as quickly as we would like, then we will let you know.
- Once we have investigated your complaint and established all the facts, our managing partner will let you have his decision, together with his reasons for it.
- If we find that the service we provided was poor, we will offer you a suitable remedy. We will try to make that proportionate to the problem you will have experienced. For example, if there was a small administrative error that did not adversely affect your case or transaction but caused minor inconvenience, then an apology might be the appropriate remedy. On the other hand if you complained about your bill and were found to have been overcharged, then in addition to an apology we would of course refund any overcharge and if appropriate consider compensation.
- If the outcome is that we feel you were offered a reasonable service, our managing partner will provide you with a full and clear explanation about how he came to this conclusion.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This may happen in one of the following ways:
- The Managing Partner will review his own decision.
- The Managing Partner will ask another Partner to review his decision.
- We will invite you to agree to independent mediation – we recommend Promediate (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If we cannot agree, we will direct you to the Legal Ombudsman as the next step. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. Any complaint must usually be made within 6 years of the act or omission of which you complain or within 3 years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted on (0300 555 0333) or via the website www.legalombudsman.org.uk.