Our complaints policy
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. If something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it so that we can address the issue with you. This will also help us to monitor and improve our standards.
Our complaints procedure
If you have any concerns about the way in which your matter is being conducted, or are unhappy with any aspect of our service or the costs you have been charged, you should raise your concerns in the first instance with the person who has conduct of your matter.
In many cases the person who has conduct of your matter, together with his or her supervisor, will be able to resolve any problem with you swiftly and effectively.
However we accept that there may be occasions when the member of staff is unable to resolve your complaint, or you may feel it is sufficiently serious that an investigation should be undertaken into the matter by a more senior member of the firm.
If you have a complaint which you feel has not been dealt with satisfactorily by the member of staff concerned, please contact the relevant Head of Department, whose name and contact details will be contained in your initial Client Care letter. If your complaint concerns the Head of Department, he or she will pass it to another partner in the firm to consider.
What will happen next
1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint, normally within 3 working days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
2. Responsibility for handling your complaint will be assigned to a member of the firm best placed to carry out the investigation. Normally this will be the Head of Department for the member of staff concerned. The person handling your complaint will then investigate it. This will normally involve speaking to the member of staff who acted for you and reviewing your matter file with them. We may need to ask you for further information about your complaint.
3. The person handling your complaint will contact you, either in writing or by telephone , to discuss your complaint with a view to resolving it. If appropriate we may invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint. We aim to complete this stage and give a detailed response to your complaint, including our suggestions for resolving the matter, within 15 working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. Complaints can vary in their complexity, and if dealing with your complaint may take longer than this we will let you know and give you our anticipated response date.
4. In the event that the person handling your complaint has held a telephone discussion or meeting with you, he/she will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he/she has agreed with you within 5 working days of the discussion or meeting.
5. If you remain unhappy at this stage of the procedure, you may ask for your complaint to be escalated to Andrew Curwen who is the Complaints Handling Partner for the firm. Your complaint will be reviewed and further investigations may be carried out if necessary. We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for this review, confirming our final position and explaining our reasons.
6. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If you remain unhappy with our final response you may have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent organisation with powers to resolve complaints about legal services.
Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:
- Website – www.legalombudsman.org.uk
- Telephone – 0300 555 0333.
- E-mail – email@example.com
- Postal address – Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.
The Legal Ombudsman will normally only deal with complaints from members of the public, some small businesses, charities, clubs or trusts. Ordinarily it can investigate complaints up to six years from the date of the problem happening or within three years from when someone should have found out about the problem.
However if we send you a final written response to your complaint, the time limit for you to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman is normally six months from the date of that final response. If you do not refer your complaint to the Ombudsman within that six month period, your complaint may not be accepted by the Ombudsman.
7. Alternative complaints resolution bodies also exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services, should both you and our firm agree to use such a scheme at the end of our internal complaints process. They provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services. We do not agree to use, and have chosen not to adopt, an ADR process. We believe that the Legal Ombudsman Scheme is the most suitable for resolution of legal complaints.
We will not charge you for investigating a complaint made by you.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.