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. Our aim is to resolve any problems as quickly and as smoothly as possible and the simplest way may be for this to be dealt with informally at an early stage.
We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time then you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman, on telephone number 0300 555 0333, to consider the complaint. Normally you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. There are restrictions on the right to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. These include, for example, most businesses (unless they are defined as micro-enterprises), charities or clubs with an annual income of more than £1,000,000.00 or trustees of a trust with an asset value of more than £1,000,000.00. We would remind those clients of the right to apply for an Assessment of a Bill of Costs.
All firms of Solicitors are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that clients may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you immediately raise any concerns with us. We value you as a client and would not wish to think that you have any reason to be unhappy with us.
Our complaints procedure
You can always speak to any partner on the telephone if you are unhappy with our service in any respect. If you wish to lodge a formal complaint with us, then please write to a partner in the firm with the details.
What will happen next?
- We will record your complaint in a register and open a separate file.
- We will let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. This may initially be the partner or solicitor acting for you or another partner. He or she will send you an acknowledgement letter within two working days of our receiving your complaint.
We will act speedily and will try to abide by timescales indicated below or let you know of any reason for extending these.
Investigating your complaint
Our investigation will normally involve the following steps, though may be a little slower e.g., in the holiday season or the run up to Christmas.
- An immediate review will be made of your file and papers by the partner concerned.
- Your complaint will be notified to our senior partner (see footnote  below).
- The senior partner will ask the appropriate partner or member of staff to reply to your complaint within seven days of receipt.
- The senior partner will then examine the reply to you and the information in your complaint file. If necessary, he may also speak to the person involved. This will take up to five days after the reply has been sent to you.
- Thereafter, the senior partner will then invite you to a meeting to suit your convenience and without formality in order to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within a further five days.
- After the meeting, the senior partner will write to you within three days to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed or proposed.
Alternative to a meeting
We hope that you will tell us on receipt of the letter in reply to your complaint if you are satisfied or if further steps need to be taken to resolve the matter. If you do not wish to have a meeting with us or if it is not possible for any reason that will be quite understood. The senior partner will then send you a further reply within seven days of completing his own investigation. This may include suggestions for resolving the matter.
Summary of the above
We will do our best to resolve your complaint without formal correspondence if that is an appropriate course open to us.
- Once you have lodged a formal complaint with us, we will write to you within two working days, to confirm we have received your complaint and who is dealing with this. The partner or member of staff concerned should let you have a reply to your complaint within seven days.
- The senior partner will investigate the matter independently and will invite you to a meeting.
- Alternatively, if there is to be no meeting then the senior partner will himself reply to your complaint setting out the conclusion of our investigation and any proposals to rectify or resolve the matter.
If you inform us that you are still not satisfied and confirm that to us in writing, we will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways: -
- Another partner with seniority in the firm who has not previously been involved with your complaint will review the senior partner's decision within 14 days or
- We will invite you within seven days to agree to independent mediation, again letting you know how long such a process would take.
Referral to the Legal Ombudsman
Within five days of the end of the appeal's review, we will inform you of the result in writing. That will confirm our final position on your complaint and explain our reasons. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or 0300 555 0333 about your complaint. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of receiving our final written response about your complaint or within 12 months of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or you becoming aware of it). Further information can be obtained from the Legal Ombudsman.
Footnote  The senior partner may delegate another senior partner within the firm for this purpose, for example if the senior partner will not be available to deal promptly with the complaint or if the senior partner was himself professionally involved in the subject matter of the complaint.