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. It may be possible to address the complaint then and there either by the fee earner concerned or the Head of the Department within which the fee earner operates. If however the complaint involves more important issues, a more formal approach is necessary and follows:-
Our Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint please contact Mr MacPherson, our Client Care Partner. You can write to him at either our Wolverhampton office. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman. Mr MacPherson may pass your complaint to the Partner in charge of the department involved in your complaint or, will deal with the matter himself. This will usually be the case if the complaint involves a Partner in the firm. There is no charge for investigating your complaint.
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and (where necessary) asking you to confirm or explain the details set out. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. The following further details should be included Contact details for the Ombudsman Service (LeO) including their website and postal address. Advice that the LeO can review the matter at the end of the consideration of the complaint by the practice. The time limits for complaint to the LeO. You can expect to receive our letter within 3 working days of us receiving your complaint.
We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will do this within two working days of receiving your complaint.
When we have requested more details we will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgment letter and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to hear from us within 3 working days of your reply.
We will then start to investigate your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps. We may ask the member of staff who acted for you to comment on your complaint within 5 working days. We may examine their response and the information in your complaint file. This may in turn be considered by the head of the department dealing with your matter. We may then ask them for more information. This will take up to a further 5 working days from receiving their reply and the file.
We will then take one of the following steps :-
(i) We will invite you to meet the Partner dealing with your complaint to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within 3 working days of receiving all the details we need from the member of staff who acted for you. Within 2 working days of the meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have been able to agree with you.
(ii) We will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include (where appropriate) our suggestions for resolving the matter. This will happen within 5 working days of us completing our investigation.
At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again raising if appropriate your reasons. Mr MacPherson, our Client Care Partner, or an alternative Partner if appropriate, will review your Complaint within 10 working days. We will let you know the result of the review within 5 working days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
If during the course of our investigation the above mentioned time limits need to be extended we will notify you beforehand and explain the reasons why. 8. Examples of the remedies that may be available to you are as follows:-
(i) An apology where the complaint is justified
(ii) An expression of sympathy for your situation, or your perception of it, even if it is found that the practice is not at fault
(iii) Fixing the specific problem
(iv) Improving the aspect of service that led to the problem
(v) Offering to meet and explain again the service being provided, if you are is confused or misunderstand the service
(vi) Offering compensations for either specific losses or general inconvenience
(vii) Offering to reduce the bill or to undertake the work to rectify the situation free of charge.
The Legal Ombudsman
If, at the conclusion of the Firm’s internal complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman Service. They can be contacted on 0300 555 0333, by email at email@example.com or in writing to Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. In the event that a matter is not dealt with under the firm’s complaints process the Legal Ombudsman may accept a complaint within:-
• six years from the date of act/omission; or
• three years from when you should have known about the matter the subject of your complaint.
If you want to know more about the service you can visit at www.legal ombudsman.org.uk. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
The SRA is the Professional Body that regulates and oversees Solicitors Conduct. It can help or take action in cases where a Solicitor fails to behave in accordance with its Regulations. Examples include dishonesty, theft, firm closures where no notice is given and breaches of the SRA’s Rules. For guidance on the SRA complaints process call its Contact Centre 0370 606 2555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.