We are committed to 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.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint, write to us with the details.
What will happen next?
1. We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and 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. You can expect to receive our letter within two days of us receiving your complaint.
2. 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.
3. We will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgement letter and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to hear from us within a day of your reply.
4. We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps:
• we will pass your complaint to Brendan Dean, our client care partner, within three days;
• he will ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint within five days;
• he will then examine the reply and the information in your complaint file. If necessary, he may also speak to them. This will take up to three days from receiving the reply and the file.
5. Brendan Dean will then invite you to meet him and discuss and, we hope, resolve your complaint. He will do this within three days.
6. Within two days of the meeting Brendan Dean will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Brendan will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter. He will do this within five days of completing his investigation.
7. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways:
• another partner of the firm will review Brendan’s decision within 10 days;
• we will ask our local Law Society or another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint within five days. We will let you know how long this process will take;
• we will invite you to agree to independent mediation within five days. We will let you know how long this process will take.
8. We will let you know the result of the review within five 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 you are not satisfied with the way that we have dealt with your complaint you are at liberty to contact the Legal Ombudsman or the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA).
The Legal Ombudsman is an independent reviewing authority established under the Legal Services Act 2007. Once our own complaints procedure has concluded, you can make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman about the service that you have received from a law firm or about our bill. Their contact details can be found here. Generally you will need to raise your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman within six months of us concluding our own complaints procedure (although the Ombudsman does have discretion to consider later complaints in certain circumstances).
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
- No more than one year from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than one year from when you should have realised that there was cause for complaint.
The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority is our regulator, and complaints can be made to them about breaches of their code of conduct or where a solicitor has broken the rules. Their contact details can be found here. It is possible to make a complaint to the SRA at any time.
9. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.