Complaints Policy

 

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. If something goes wrong please tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

We are responsible to the Solicitors Regulation Authority which defined a complaint as “an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience or other detriment”

You may request a copy of this policy at any time.

Our Complaints procedures

1. If you have a complaint, please contact the Operations Manager giving details of your concern.

2. The Operations Manager will acknowledge your complaint by letter or email within 3 working days of receiving your complaint and will send you a copy of this Policy

3. We will record your complaint in our central register and also in our Client services database.

4. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps.

a. The Operations Manager will ask the member of staff who acted for you to give us their response to your complaint.

b. After examining the staff member’s reply and all the complaint information received, the Operations Manager will send you our formal written response, normally within 14 working days of our acknowledgement letter or email. If the Manager finds that there has been a problem she or he will propose a solution and if necessary discuss with you how matters can be put right. We will also review our internal procedures to try and prevent the same issue arising again.

c. The Operations Manager is Chris Earl.

d. The person with overall responsibility for complaints is Michael Higgins

5. If you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. Our Managing Director or Chairman will review our decision and let you have his written views, normally within 14 working days of your letter/email.

6. If we have to change any of the timescales in this policy, we will let you know and explain why.

7. We will be happy to arrange a meeting with you at any point while dealing with your complaint and to discuss the possibility of mediation with you if that might be helpful. Within 6 working days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions that have been agreed with you.

8. If your complaint is alleging negligence on our part, we will report the matter to our insurers and ask you to take up the matter directly with them.

9. We confirm clients will never be charged the cost of handling a complaint.

Legal Ombudsman

You cannot normally use the Legal Ombudsman service unless you have first used our complaints procedure. However, if you remain unhappy with our response to your complaint then you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body established under the Legal Services Act, who can investigate complaints about the legal service you have received from us.

The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.

The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are: –

Telephone: 0300 555 0333

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Email: [email protected]

Post: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help 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.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Policy updates and Manager

The COLP is responsible for ensuring the above policy is carried out in practice and is reviewed annually on 31st July.  Any suggestions for changes should be addressed to him/her.

Complaints are reviewed monthly at the Management meeting.  The results of the review are documented and reported to Board meetings. If the review shows that a revised procedure would be more effective in some or all cases, this policy will be amended accordingly.