We aim to deal promptly, fairly and effectively with any complaint a client may have about any aspect of our service.
Our 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 service. There is no question of any charge being made for the time taken to resolve a complaint.
How to complain
If you have a complaint, please give the details (by letter, email or telephone) to the partner with whom you feel you have the closest relationship. If you have not dealt directly with a partner, please contact the partner named in our engagement letter as the partner responsible for supervising your matter. All complaints received by us are recorded in a central register kept by this firm (the “Central Register”).
Complaints concerning data protection
If you have any complaint regarding our data protection policies or practices, please contact our Privacy Manager Nigel Miller at email@example.com to whom complaints should be addressed at first instance.
You also have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues, who can be contacted at https://ico.org.uk or telephone on 0303 123 1113.
Where a quick resolution of your complaint is possible
It is possible that, after investigation, the partner to whom you first notified your complaint can quickly resolve it to your satisfaction, in which case s/he will record in writing to you and to the Central Register, within 7 days of your first contacting us, the agreed manner of resolution. If, however, your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction within 7 days of your first contacting us, you should notify (by letter, email or telephone) the partner first contacted by you that you require your complaint to be investigated by another partner.
What will happen next?
- Another partner will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Senior Partner, Paul Osborne, who will:
- send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint (within three days of your requesting an investigation of your complaint by another partner) and enclosing a copy of this procedure; and
- nominate a partner unconnected with your matter to review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
- The partner nominated to investigate your complaint will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. S/he will do this within 14 days of the Senior Partner’s sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within three days of the meeting, the partner who met with you will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions s/he has agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, the partner nominated to deal with your complaint will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his/her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of the Senior Partner’s sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should (by letter, email or telephone) contact our Senior Partner, Paul Osborne, and he, or a partner he nominates, will review the decision.
- The reviewing Partner will write to you within 14 days of receipt of your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman:
- by letter at: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
- by telephone at: callers from UK: 0300 555 0333 / callers from overseas: +44 121 245 3050
- by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Legal Ombudsman may be prepared to investigate your complaint if you satisfy the relevant criteria. You must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- within six months of receiving a final response from us 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.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority 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. For more details visit https://www.sra.org.uk and https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.
- You may have recourse to the Online Dispute Resolution Platform (“ODR Platform”), which is an online alternative dispute resolution forum for consumers. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
Complaints not by clients
We aim to deal promptly, fairly and effectively with any complaint a non-client may have about any matter relating to our business as solicitors.
If you are a non-client who makes a complaint to us we will follow a procedure appropriate to the nature of the complaint, which will include a review of the complaint by a partner designated by us to investigate non-client complaints. That partner will contact you usually within 14 days of receipt of your complaint to confirm our position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
If you are still dissatisfied, the Legal Ombudsman may be prepared to investigate your complaint if you satisfy the relevant criteria (please see further details in paragraph 7 above).
You may at any time make a report to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (please see further details in paragraph 8 above).