I hope that you will never have reason to complain about the service that you have received. However, if something does go wrong, please bring it to our attention as soon as you can. We will try to resolve the matter fairly and quickly. I am the firm’s complaints partner and am responsible for this procedure.
The relationship with your Solicitor or lawyer is built on trust and openness. You should be able to talk to your lawyer frankly about your case and everything that happens in your case. Some issues (and these are likely to be minor issues) might lend themselves to be resolved by a simple phone call or a meeting with your lawyer. However, if you are not comfortable speaking to your lawyer about the issue, you can ask to speak to their supervisor or you can contact me directly.
So that there is no confusion, I do prefer complaints to be sent in writing – the Firm does not have any set forms for this purpose. However, I realise that not all people may be comfortable formulating a detailed letter. In such cases, a telephone call will do. During the call, I will make a note of the issues.
Within 7 days of receiving your complaint I will write to you with details of what I understand your complaint to be. If you believe that I have misunderstood the complaint, you should contact me straight away so that the basis of the complaint can be agreed. Once the basis of the complaint is agreed, I will (within twenty-eight days) conduct a full review of your file and ask the person in respect of whom the complaint is about to provide an account in response.
I will then prepare a report of my findings and send this to you by email or post within 42 days of your original complaint. My aim is to be as fair and balanced as possible.
If, following the investigation I find that the complaint is justified and the service that you have been given has fallen below the standard we normally expect, I will provide propositions for a resolution.
If after investigation, you feel that your complaint has not been dealt with adequately or if you are unhappy with my findings you are entitled to contact the Legal Ombudsman and ask them to investigate your complaint further.
The Ombudsman asks that you report to them as soon as you can and within 6 months of your last contact with us. Ordinarily, you must make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within a year of the matter giving rise to the complaint or a year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint without taking advice from a third party, whichever is later. The Legal Ombudsman can increase any time limit in exceptional circumstances.
In most instances, complaints about poor service should be sent to the Legal Ombudsman.
If the Legal Ombudsman thinks your case involves a breach of the SRA Principles, the Legal Ombudsman will usually refer your case to the SRA.
The SRA may investigate matters such as complaints of dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic or if you think our firm has breached an SRA Principle.
The SRA complaints procedure can be found at https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor
or you can contact them at:
Solicitors Regulation Authority,
199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN
Tel: 0370 606 2555
International callers: +44 (0)121 329 6800