Complaints Handling Policy
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.
We ensure that complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly and free of charge.
You should first raise any concerns that you have about the handling of your case/complaint about this firm with the person dealing with your matter. If the matter cannot be resolved, you can raise a complaint with the firm’s Complaint’s Officer, Mr Steven Brooks. Should your complaint relate to Mr Brooks, the appropriate Complaints Officer is Mr Jonathan Whittle.
If you have a complaint, please provide details of your complaint in writing, either by email or by post, marked for the attention of the Complaints Officer.
What will happen following receipt of your complaint?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure unless you have already been provided with a copy.
- Your complaint will be passed to Mr Brooks (or Mr Whittle if the complaint relates to Mr Brooks), who will then investigate your complaint fairly and independently. Your file will be reviewed and your complaint will be discussed with the member of staff to whom you complaint relates or who was assisting on your file.
- Within six weeks of the date of our receiving your complaint, Mr Brooks (or Mr Whittle if the complaint relates to Mr Brooks), will write to you detailing his response to your complaint. If further time is required in which to provide a response, we shall inform you of the same and our reasoning as to why, as soon as practicable.
- If, following Mr Brooks’ review of your complaint (or Mr Whittle’s review if the complaint relates to Mr Brooks), you remain dissatisfied, you may contact us again and we will arrange for Mr Whittle to contact you (unless the complaint refers to Mr Whittle in which case someone unconnected with the matter at the firm will be appointed) to review the decision.
- We will write to you within two weeks of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons, where possible. If further time is required in which to provide a response, we shall inform you of the same and our reasoning as to why, as soon as practicable.
- If our complaints handling procedure has been exhausted and we cannot settle/resolve your complaint, we shall inform you of the same. There are certified providers of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes for disputes of this type. There are a list of ADR approved bodies found at www.tradingstandards.uk. However, as complaints against Solicitors can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman and Solicitors Regulation Authority, we will not engage in any other ADR scheme.
It may be necessary for Mr Brooks to contact you to arrange to discuss matters with you by telephone or in person at our offices (if appropriate). If you are given the option of discussing the complaint verbally with Mr Brooks (or Mr Whittle if the complaint relates to Mr Brooks), he will, within two weeks of the telephone appointment/meeting, write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions/next steps that he had agreed with you.
Your Right to Complaint to the Legal Ombudsman
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction with 8 weeks following the making of the complaint, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, regardless of whether we have finalised our investigation into your complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman look at complaints about legal service providers in a fair and independent way: they will not take sides and are unable to provide legal advice. They are the appropriate body to consider your complaint if the same relates to the service with which we have provided.
The Legal Ombudsman state that, ordinarily, you can ask them to look at your complaint if it meets ALL three of the following steps:
- The problem, or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010; and
- You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following: Six years of the problem happening or three years from when you found out about it; and
- You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response.
If your complaint does not meet all of these time limits the Legal Ombudsman state that they may not be able to investigate it.
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted:
Raising a Concern with the Solicitors Regulation Authority
We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Solicitors Regulation Authority can assist you if you have concerns about the behaviour of this firm/our professional conduct.
Concerns can be raised with the Solicitors Regulation Authority via;