Complaints Procedure

Introduction

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 to sort out any mistakes or misunderstandings and to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, please initially raise the problem informally with the lawyer responsible for your matter or, if you prefer, a director of the firm to see if your complaint can be resolved.

If you remain dissatisfied then you may utilise the firm's formal complaints procedure

Getting Started

To register a formal complaint, please write to us and include all the information suggested by the Legal Ombudsman - their website includes some useful checklists and sample letters.

What will happen next?

  1. We will write to you acknowledging your complaint and may ask you to provide further details if necessary. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within one week of us receiving your complaint.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to a member of the firm’s management team who was not responsible for the conduct of your matter. That person will review your file and speak to the member(s) of staff who have been involved with it.
  3. The person investigating your complaint will either invite you to a meeting to discuss and, hopefully, resolve your complaint or respond to your complaint in writing if they feel it is appropriate to do so. They will do this within three weeks of sending you the acknowledgement letter. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, the person investigating your complaint may instead offer you a chance to discuss the matter by telephone.
  4. If applicable, within one week of a meeting, or any telephone conversation we have with you instead of a meeting, the person investigating your complaint will write to you to confirm those discussions and any solutions they have agreed with you.
  5. In any case they will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including their suggestions for resolving the matter, within four weeks of sending you the written acknowledgement of your complaint referred to in paragraph 1 above.
  6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another member of the management team to review the decision.
  7. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
  8. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

Legal Ombudsman

If you are dissatisfied with the service we have provided and we have been unable to resolve your complaint by following the above steps then you have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman service has been operational since October 6th, 2010 and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that complaints are dealt with appropriately.

Please note that before you contact the Legal Ombudsman you must first register a formalcomplaint with us. Normally, the Legal Ombudsman expects you to give us 8 weeks to try to resolve the matter. If after 8 weeks you are still dissatisfied you can then involve  the  Legal Ombudsman. For more information on how the Legal Ombudsman works please  visit the Legal Ombudsman website.

Timescales

In normal circumstances you are required to register a complaint within one year.  You must then give us 8 weeks to try to resolve your complaint before contacting the Legal Ombudsman. A complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must normally be made within six months of the date of the conclusion of the Firm's complaints procedure. In summary:

  • You must register your complaint with us within one year
  • The Legal Ombudsman expects you to give us 8 weeks to try to resolve your complaint
  • After this time, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman (but you must do so within 6 months)

Alternative Dispute Resolution

In addition to directing a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you may be able to refer your dispute for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). There are three Institutions available to deal with disputes in the legal services sector, namely the Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation.  If required, we will provide contact details for those mediation services.

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Finally, you also have the right to make a report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the event the your complaint relates to;

  • A breach of a Principle of the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 and/or;
  • Allegations of dishonesty or discrimination.

To make a report see http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page or contact the SRA at

Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Cube
199 Wharfside Street
Birmingham
B1 1RN