FULL COMPLAINTS POLICY

 

In the event of dissatisfaction with any aspect of our service Clients are requested to:

1. make known their concerns to the member of the Practice who has been advising them either in writing, telephone or e-mail.

2. if the adviser concerned is unable to resolve the problem immediately, please write to us with the details of your complaint

3. if you do not wish to write to us, please telephone us to that we can arrange an appointment with our Client Care Director Mr Christian Kirby.  If the complaint concerns a service provided by Mr Christian Kirby, please arrange an appointment with Mr Roland Lewis.

 

What Will Happen Next

1. We will record your complaint in our central register and open a separate file for your complaint; we will do this within a day of receiving your complaint

2. We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and confirming the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.  This letter will be sent to you within 2 days of us receiving your complaint.

3. We will then start to investigate your complaint.  This will normally involve our Client Care Director reviewing your file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you.

4. We will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including any suggestions for resolving the matter, within 28 days of sending you a written acknowledgement of your complaint referred to in paragraph 2 above

5. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write or contact us again.  We will then arrange for another Director in the Practice to review the decision within 14 working days and let you know the result of the review.  At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explain the reasons.

If we have to change any of the timescales referred to in this procedure we will let you   know and explain why.

We will also provide you with the details of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) approved body that is competent to deal with complaints about legal services. The matter can be referred to them if we both agree to use the scheme. We do not agree to use the scheme but are obliged from 1st October 2015 under European Directive 2013/11/EU to make you aware of an ADR approved body.

6. If you are still not satisfied you can contact the Legal Ombudsman to ask them to review your complaint independently at:

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 6806

Wolverhampton

WV1 9WJ

e-mail:enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Telephone : 0300 555 0333.

They also have a website :www.legalombudsman.org.uk

For the Legal Ombudsman to deal with your complaint the problem must ordinarily have occurred after 5th October 2010.

If the problem occurred on or before 5th October 2010 or you should  reasonably have known there was cause for complaint, on or before that date, then the Ombudsman will not usually be able to deal with your complaint.

If you are unsure about these time limits and how they apply to your matter,      please contact the Legal Ombudsman’s office, using the contact details shown above, to clarify the position.

Subject to the above Scheme Rules, and the Legal Ombudsman’s discretion to   extend the time limits, you will need to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman

within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and,

no later than 6 years from when the problem (act or omission) occurred or,

no later than 3 years from the date, you should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint.

 

Please Note

If your complaint is specifically about our bill, you have the right to object to it and apply for an assessment of it under part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you should choose to exercise this right, and the court is assessing our bill, you may be unable to use the Legal Ombudsman service.

If you are complaining as a business client, unless you are a “micro business” (as defined by the European Union), you may not be able to use the Legal Ombudsman scheme, and should check the guidance on Legal Ombudsman’s website.

If you refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman as a trustee/personal representative (executor/administrator) or beneficiary of the estate/trust of a person who, before they died, had not referred the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman the period runs from when the deceased should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint; and when the complainant (or the deceased) should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint will be assessed on the basis of the complainant’s (or deceased’s) own knowledge, disregarding what the complainant (or the deceased) might have been told if he/she had sought advice.

If the Ombudsman considers there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious illness or you were still within the time limits when you made your initial complaint to them) then he/she may extend any of the above time limits to the extent that he/she considers fair.

 

If we have to change any of the timescales referred to in this procedure we will let you know and explain why.