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Complaints Procedure

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service, we have provided then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint:

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Contact details

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00.

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

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.

 

1. Complaints Handling

The basic philosophy of our procedure is to resolve any complaint made by a client concerning any aspect of the service we provide or our bill as quickly as possible and to the client’s satisfaction but if this cannot be achieved Stage 3 below explains the steps that can be taken.

The fact that you have received this note unfortunately means you have felt cause to complain; we hope the problem will be satisfactorily resolved using the procedures set out below.  Our intention is to respond quickly to all complaints and when possible contact the client by return.  Part of the procedure is to clarify with you the exact nature of your complaint and, if we feel it to be justified, to tell you what we shall do to rectify the matter and how quickly we think this can be achieved.  Where appropriate we shall discuss the matter with you either in person or on the telephone.  Please let us know if you particularly want a meeting and we will do our best to arrange it.

2. Stages of the complaints handling

There are 3 stages:

2.1: Stage 1

Stage 1 is to raise the problem with the Partner whose name you were given in one of our first letters to you.

The Partner receiving your complaint will endeavour to resolve the difficulty within fourteen days, otherwise Stage 2 of our complaints handling procedure comes into operation.

2.2: Stage 2

Stage 2 is to refer your complaint to the Partner we have designated as having overall responsibility for dealing with client problems – Chris Elliott.  The purpose of nominating one Partner to deal with Stage 2 is to try and ensure consistency of response.

If your problem was raised under Stage 1 with Chris Elliott, you have the choice of either referring the complaint to Isabel Elliott, Managing Partner or going straight to Stage 3 below.

It will help us to help you in dealing with your complaint if, when using Stage 2, you will be kind enough to write to us giving details of your complaint and mark the envelope for the personal attention of Chris Elliott.  Once the issues have been clarified, we shall respond.

Whilst we will usually try to deal with your complaint within 14 days, more time may be needed in some cases because of the varying nature of possible complaints and therefore the action required for remedy.  We will tell you promptly how long we think it will take to deal with your complaint, up to a maximum of 8 weeks, and if you are not satisfied with the time estimate, you can immediately move to Stage 3 below.

If we do not consider your complaint justified, we shall say so and you can, if you wish, move to Stage 3 below.  If we consider your complaint is justified, we will offer you an apology, provide an explanation and take such other action as we feel necessary to correct matters.  This might involve transferring the case to another fee earner, with your consent, or offering a costs concession.

At the conclusion of Stage 2 we will confirm our final response in writing.  If you remain dissatisfied you should write to tell us and Stage 3 will come into operation.

2.3: Stage 3

Stage 3 we will invite you to write with particulars of the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman P.O. Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ Telephone: 0300 555 0333 email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk for advice on whether you have grounds to complain. 

Any complaints to the Ombudsman must be made within 12 months.

3. Complaints Register

Details of all complaints and the action taken will be kept on a central register with a view to assisting in consistency of response and helping us to identify areas where improvements can be made in our service to clients.