Our Complaints Handling Procedure tells you how we will deal with your complaint and how long it is likely to take. It also provides you with important information about what you can do if you are not happy with the way in which we are dealing with your complaint, or about our final decision.
Designated Complaints Handler
If you have any concerns about our service, our work, or our charges, you should discuss these first with the individual who has day-to-day control of your matter. If this person cannot satisfactorily address your concerns and you wish to make a complaint, please contact our Designated Complaints Handler, Robert Brackup. He is a Solicitor and Partner and you can send an email to him at email@example.com
Step One: Acknowledging your Complaint
Within two working days of receiving your complaint, it will be recorded in our Complaints Register and a separate file will be opened in which we will store any correspondence and other documents relating to your complaint. Within two working days we will also send you a letter acknowledging your complaint.
Step Two: Investigating your Complaint
Within five working days of receiving your complaint, we will review your file(s) and any other relevant documentation and send you a letter telling you how we propose to deal with your complaint. Examples of what we might say in this letter are as follows:
Whichever form our investigation takes, we will aim to give you our final decision within six weeks of receiving your complaint (or sooner if possible).
Step Three: Appealing against our Final Decision
If you are not satisfied with our final decision, please let us know and we will review our decision again. We will let you know the result of any review within five working days of receiving your appeal and will then confirm your options in writing. If you remain dissatisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint. We will also advise you whether we are prepared to engage in alternative methods of mediation.
Step Four: The Legal Ombudsman
You may refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman provided you do so within six months of the end of this Complaints Handling Procedure.
In addition, there are also time limits that apply to the date you first became aware or should have become aware of the problem causing your complaint. The relevant time limits are set out in the version of the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules in force from time to time (which can be accessed at: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/downloads/documents/publications/Scheme-Rules.pdf) or by contacting the Legal Ombudsman using the contact details provided below) and may only be extended by the Legal Ombudsman in exceptional circumstances. Currently, the Scheme Rules state that you must refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than:
– six years from the act/omission about which you are concerned; or
– three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint
Ordinarily, you cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless you have first attempted to resolve your complaint using our Complaints Handling Procedure, but you will be able to contact the Legal Ombudsman if:
If you wish to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must be one of the following:
If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
Legal Ombudsman Contact Details
Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Alternative complaints bodies
Alternative complaints bodies, such as ProMediate UK Ltd (www.promediate.co.uk) exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and this firm wish to use such a scheme. We do not usually agree to use mediation schemes as we believe the Legal Ombudsman is usually better equipped to resolve complaints against legal firms.
Complaints about our professional conduct or behaviour
Our regulatory body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) 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.
We are bound by various professional rules of conduct which can be viewed at https://www.sra.org.uk/.
You can also see more information about the help the SRA can give to you here: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page
What will it Cost?
We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
Please note that if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter, and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding. This is explained in our Terms of Business.
The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.