We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we wish to address it. This will help us to improve our standards.
We are sorry that your complaint has not been resolved by the Fee Earner or Partner concerned. Our Practice Manager, Mr David Stewart, is the person responsible for dealing with client care issues and he can be contacted by post at 2 West Mills, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5HG, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will happen?*
- Mr Stewart will send you a letter or email acknowledging receipt of your complaint within a maximum of three working days of receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- Mr Stewart will then arrange for one of the firm’s Partners who has not been involved in your matter to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve reviewing your file and speaking to the fee earner/Partner who acted for you. If your complaint relates to a matter where the file has been closed, we may need to obtain your file from our archive storage facility, which may take 1-2 working days.
- Within 21 days of Mr Stewart’s acknowledgment the Partner will send you a written response to your complaint, including, if the complaint is upheld, his/her suggestions for resolving the matter.
- The Partner will carefully consider your response and if we have been unable to resolve your complaint using our internal complaints procedure, we shall say so in our final written response and we shall remind you of your rights as set out in below.
- If we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction within eight weeks of it having been referred to a Partner, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) at the Office for Legal Complaints on 0300 555 0333, or by writing to PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or Email: email@example.com (see also the LeO website – www.legalombudsman.org.uk).
You will usually need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving the final written response from us about your complaint. You must refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than:
i. one year from the act or omission complained of; or
ii. one year from the date you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman may extend the above time limits to the extent that the Ombudsman considers it fair and reasonable in all the circumstances.
Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate (www.promediate.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and we wish to use such a scheme.
Objecting to our bill(s)
You may have the right to object to our bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
Non-payment of our bill(s)
You should be aware that the firm may be entitled to charge interest if all or part of our bill(s) remains unpaid.
Your data security
Throughout the process of your complaint personal and sensitive data will be required to ensure that all of our information is correct so we can handle your complaint in a timely and lawful manner. Any documentation, requests, evidence and associated notes or telephone recordings will be stored on the matter file to which access is restricted. This information will be kept in line with the firm’s retention policy and subsequently deleted after this time.
*If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.