Complaints Procedure

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 dstewart@horseylightly.com

What will happen?*

  1. 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.
  2. We will then 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.
  3. Mr Stewart will send you a detailed reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  4. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact Mr Stewart again and he will arrange for a Partner who has not had any dealings with your matter to review the initial decision.
  5. We will write to you within 21 working days of receiving your request for a review, to advise you of the outcome of the Partner review with an explanation as to the Partner’s reasons.
  6. If we have been unable to settle your complaint using our internal complaints procedure, we shall say so in our final letter to you and we shall also remind you of your rights as set out in paragraph 7 below.
If we are unable to settle your complaint, you can 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: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk (see also the LeO website – www.legalombudsman.org.uk).

You will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving the final written response from us about your complaint.  Please note that you must satisfy two conditions in order to engage the Legal Ombudsman:-

  1. The act or omission or the time from which you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint, must have occurred after 5th October 2010; and
  2. You must refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than:
            i) six years from the act or omission; or
           ii) three years from the date you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

In exceptional circumstances, the Legal Ombudsman may extend any of the above time limits to the extent she/he considers fair.

Alternate complaints bodies such as ProMediate 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 to 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 is 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.