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 improve our standards. Clients are notified in our Engagement letter / Terms of Business of their right to complain. If the client asks for a copy of our standard procedure, it is at this point forwarded to them in writing.
What is a complaint?
A report by a client that their expectations of what they consider to be a good service have not been met.
Making a complaint
You can register the complaint with the person dealing with your matter or the Complaints Partner. He is responsible for ensuring that complaints are handled effectively and in accordance with this procedure. This procedure will also apply to prospective clients who we have refused to provide a service to or persistently or unreasonably offered an unwanted service to but only if the complainant has evidence to show that we did not have reasonable grounds to do so.
In the first instance, we’d prefer if you write to us with full details of your complaint so that we have a good understanding of the issues being highlighted.
Investigating the complaint
- We will acknowledge the complaint within seven days which allows for any postal delays and notify you who will be handling your complaint.
- We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will conduct a full investigation and an independent review of the matter.
- We aim to respond in full within 28 days. However, if the complaint is of a more complex nature we will require more time but we will let you know when you will receive a full response. We may also invite you to meet with the Supervisor to gather more information and resolve the matter.
- We will reply to you, usually in writing to tell you of our views on the complaint and how we propose to resolve it, hopefully to your satisfaction – including appropriate redress – this could include a reduction in fees if appropriate, compensation or a gesture of goodwill.
- If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome, or the way the complaint has been handled, the complainant may write to the Complaints Handling Partner, Veeravagu Vaaheesan, who will make such further investigations as are necessary.
- We would generally aim to do this within 10 days. This will happen in one of the following ways –
- The Supervisor will review his/her own decision.
- Managing Partner will review your complaint within 10 days.
The Managing Partner will inform you of the conclusions and any alternative proposals to resolve the complaint.
7. If still unresolved at this stage, you may take the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or, in accordance with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Scheme Provider. We will issue a final letter advising you of this.
- We will record and report centrally all complaints received from clients.
- We will identify the cause of any problems of which the client has complained offering appropriate redress and correcting any unsatisfactory procedures.
The Legal Ombudsman is an independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007 to deal with complaints against Solicitors.
The Legal Ombudsman may:
- Investigate the quality of professional service supplied by a solicitor to a client.
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct.
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has unreasonably refused to supply a professional service to a prospective client.
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has persistently or unreasonably offered a professional service that the client does not want.
Before it will consider a complaint the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the firm’s internal Complaints Procedure (outlined above) has been exhausted. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that the firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further. You will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission, giving rise to the complaint. Alternatively, 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman’s address and contact details are:
THE SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our 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.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SCHEMES
Alternative complaints bodies ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
However, we don’t currently agree to use this Alternative Dispute Resolution service in view of the availability of the independent Legal Ombudsman Service established under the Legal Services Act 2007. We are bound by our Regulatory Code to comply with the Legal Ombudsman.
CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO ONLINE
If we are unable to resolve your complaint which relates to a contract entered into online, you may contact the Online Dispute Resolution providers by accessing the following link http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr