We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. We welcome complaints, as we see them as a way to help us to improve, and nobody can help us to improve more than you, our client. When something does go wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards. Our first priority in dealing with complaints is to learn what we can do to improve the services we offer to all our clients.
If you have feedback that does not constitute a complaint we would still love to hear it. You can find more information on our website in the Feedback section.
A complaint must usually be made no later than:
- six years from the act or omission; or
- three years from when you would have reasonably have known there was cause for a complaint.
Additionally the date the act or omission occurred or when you should have known there was cause for complaint must not be earlier than 5th October 2010.
What the Complaints Policy Covers
This complaints procedure does not apply to allegations of negligence as opposed to just poor service. This is for two reasons. Firstly, because an allegation of negligence is something we may be unable to deal with on our own for insurance reasons; and secondly because an allegation of negligence is something upon which you may need to take independent legal advice from an independent solicitor.
How to make a complaint
Please raise any complaint with your case leader as soon as it arises. This does not have to be in writing. On the contrary we encourage you to inform us verbally, and preferably by telephone so as to avoid delay (unless you have a meeting with your case leader anyway). This process will usually be quicker and enable us to deal with your complaint in a satisfactory manner right there and then.
Formal complaints process
If you are not satisfied with the case leader's response, or if you prefer for it to be dealt with by another person, or if you wish to invoke the formal complaints policy straight away, please inform our Complaints handling partner, Simon Pass at 52 Town street, Farsley, Leeds LS28 5LD (Telephone: 0113 236 2333) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will happen next
- 1. Within 14 working days we will draw your attention to this procedure and acknowledge your complaint. At the same time we will confirm what we understand your complaint to be (unless it is not required, e.g. because the complaint is in writing) so that we can address your issues satisfactorily.
- 2. We will allow you a further 7 days to consider if there is anything we misunderstood or missed. If however you do not need all this time, please inform us and we will move onto the investigation without delay.
- 3. We will investigate your complaint by reviewing your file and speaking to the people who acted for you. We will consider any further points you have raised.
- 4. Where deemed appropriate or upon your request, we may discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint through a meeting or telephone conversation.
- 5. We will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including our suggestions for resolving the matter within 28 days of receiving confirmation of our understanding of your complaint.
- 6. We would hope that our response would be comprehensive and clear and cover all your concerns however if you would like to discuss it further please contact us within 7 days to arrange a meeting or to talk it through over the telephone. You may of course send written correspondence if preferred.
- 7. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again within 14 days and we will arrange for the complaints handling partner to review the decision.
- 8. We will write to you within 28 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- 9. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman by telephoning 0300 555 0333 or writing to them at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or by email to email@example.com about your complaint. You must do this within six months of receiving a final written response from us. For further information please view their website www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
- 1. For the avoidance of any doubt, the complaints handling procedure is a free service to clients. No charge will be made to you for making a complaint or for anything done in accordance with this procedure.
- 2. Neither the operating by us of this complaints procedure nor anything done by us should be taken as relating to any actual or possible allegation of negligence.
- 3. We reserve the right to reject a complaint without complying with this procedure if we consider it to be misconceivfileed or vexatious or to the extent it repeats an earlier complaint. In that event you can still go to the Legal Ombudsman.
- 4. We will try to learn from all complaints irrespective of whether we agree with them, as part of our quality assurance for the future.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why. Equally, if you need more time our policy is to be sympathetic provided the request is made in advance.