Complaints

I want to give you the best possible service.  However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service I have provided then you should let me know immediately so that I can do my best to resolve the problem.

I will do my best to resolve any issues at that stage but if you would like to make a formal complaint you can read my full complaints procedure below.  Making a complaint will not affect how I handle any engagement or work for you.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can also help you if you are concerned about my behaviour.  This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.  You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page).

What to do if I cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman may be able to help you if I am unable to resolve your complaint myself.  They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how I handle any engagement or work for you.  Please note that the Legal Ombudsman only accepts complaints from individuals (or their personal representatives or beneficiaries of their estates in certain cases), small businesses, small charities, small clubs/associations/organisations and small trusts – and further details are available from the Legal Ombudsman (see the contact details below).

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with me first.  If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint;

and

  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

Please contact the Legal Ombudsman if you would like more information about them.

Contact details:

Visit:  www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call:  0300 555 0333 between 9am and 5pm

Email:  enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

Complaints Handling Procedure

I am committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all my clients.  When something goes wrong, I need you to tell me about it.  This will help me to maintain and improve my standards.

1          If you have a complaint (including a complaint in respect of any invoice submitted), please contact me with the details.

2          I will record your complaint in my central register and open a file for your complaint.  This will be done within one working day of receiving your complaint.

3          I will then send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the details.  I will tell you in that letter that I shall be dealing with your complaint and (if you have not asked for a particular remedy) ask you to outline what remedy you would like and set a date for you to inform me of that. I will also provide you with details of the Legal Ombudsman and explain that you can (if eligible to do so – see paragraph 16 below) ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved at the end of my complaints procedure if you are unhappy with the outcome and let you know the time limits for that.  In the case of a complaint in respect of any invoice submitted, I will explain that you may also have the right to apply for an assessment of the invoice under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.  I will set out when I will next contact you and what information I will provide then.  A copy of this complaints handling procedure will also be sent to you so that you have that.  This letter will be sent to you within two working days of me receiving your complaint.  These and other letters may be sent to you by email as well as, or instead of, post.

4          I will acknowledge your reply to my letter and confirm what will happen next.  I will send that letter within two working days of me receiving your reply.

5          I will then start to investigate your complaint.  I will consider your complaint again and will then send you my detailed reply.  I will seek to do this within 21 days, but I will let you know if I consider that I will need a longer period and will seek to agree with you a realistic and fair timeframe for the detailed reply.

6          In the case of clients located in the UK, I will also suggest in the letter that we meet to discuss and, I hope, resolve your complaint.  In the case of clients not located in the UK, I will also set out in the letter my suggestions for resolving the matter.

7          If you would like a meeting to discuss your complaint and to seek to resolve your complaint, then I shall be available for that and I shall contact you within three working days after sending the response letter to find out whether you would like us to meet.

8          If a meeting takes place, I will write to you within three working days after the meeting to confirm what took place and any solutions I have agreed with you.

9          In the case of UK clients, if you do not want a meeting or it is not possible for us to meet, I will send you my suggestions for resolving the matter in the letter referred to in paragraph 5 above.

10         If you are still not satisfied after the meeting or after receiving my letter (if no meeting has taken place), I will arrange to review my decision.  This may happen in one of the following ways:

  • I will review the decision myself within five working days.
  • I will ask another firm of solicitors to review your complaint within ten working days. I will let you know how long this process will take.
  • I will invite you to agree to independent mediation within five working days. I will let you know how long this will take.

11         I will let you know the result of the review within five working days of the end of the review.  At this time, I will write to you confirming my final position on your complaint and explaining my reasons and I will also tell you about your right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (and details of who may do so), full contact details for the Legal Ombudsman and the timeframe for making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

12         I have eight weeks to consider your complaint and, if I have not resolved it within this time, you may be entitled to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (see below and particularly paragraph 16).

13         If I have to change any of the timescales above, I will let you know and explain why.

14         I will not charge you for the cost of handling your complaint.

15         The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted:

  • By phone on 0300 555 0333
  • By email at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
  • By post at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

16         Please note that there are some restrictions on complaints that the Legal Ombudsman can review.  Details are set out in the website (www.legalombudsman.org.uk) but:

  • The Legal Ombudsman only accepts complaints from individuals (or their personal representatives or beneficiaries of their estates in certain cases), small businesses, small charities, small clubs/associations/organisations and small trusts;
  • There are time limits for bringing complaints to the Legal Ombudsman; and
  • The Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have already applied to the court for assessment of that bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.

December 2018