Our complaints policy
We are committed to providing a high-quality service to our clients. This includes a commitment to putting things right when they go wrong. This policy explains how we will deal with any complaint that is referred to us. Your complaint might concern the way in which you have been dealt with, the quality of advice you have received or any invoice that you have received.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority by contacting them by telephone on 0370 606 2555 or via the website: www.sra.org.uk.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint, please contact Grant Parker. You can contact him/her by post at our office in Crawley or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To explain to you how long this process might take we have included our target times for each stage of the process. Where, for any reason, it is not possible to observe any of these limits we will let you know and explain why.
What will happen next?
- On receipt of your complaint Grant Parker will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and informing you of the name of the Partner who will be investigating your complaint. We might invite you to a meeting to discuss your concerns. We will examine the file that we have on the work that we have been doing for you. We would look to acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receiving it and will complete our initial examination within fourteen days.
- We might then invite you to a meeting or we will write to you to ask for further information. Alternatively we might write to you setting out our views on the situation and suggesting any redress that we would feel to be appropriate. We will aim to write to you with our views and any suggestions within seven days of completing our investigations.
- Where we feel that we have failed in our standards we could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.
- If, by this stage, you are still not satisfied, please let us know. It would be helpful to us if you could do so within 21 days but there is no obligation on you to do so. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within ten days of hearing from you. We will usually do this by asking someone else to review the file that we have on your complaint and see if they agree with our response.
- We will let you know the result of the review within seven days of the end of the review and will do so by writing to you to confirm our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- You may, if you wish, approach the Legal Ombudsman who provides a service examining complaints against lawyers, including solicitors’ firms. They will usually expect us to have concluded our examination of your complaint within eight weeks and will usually expect to have complaints referred to them within six months of the end of our complaints handling process as set out above. The services provided by the Legal Ombudsman are limited to individuals and smaller organisations – for more details see their website. The full details of how to contact this office are as follows:
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Minicom: 0300 555 1777
Address: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
The time limits for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint are:
- 6 years from the date of the act/omission; or
- 3 years from when you should have known about the complaint.
However, the Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness was before 6 October 2010.
The time limit for you to complain to the Legal Ombudsman is 6 months from the end of our complaints procedure.
Alternative complaints bodies, such as Promediate (www.promediate.co.uk), exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services although please note that we do not agree to use Promediate to deal with any complaints that we are not able to resolve using our internal complaints procedure.
Complaining about your bill
You are entitled to complain about your bill. If you wish to do so then please contact the person handling your case in the first instance. If this does not resolve your complaint about your bill then your complaint will be handled in accordance with our Complaints Handling Procedure.
You may also have the right to object to our bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under the Solicitors Act 1974.
If you have any query about your bill, you should contact your us straight away.