1.1. We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards. We deal with all complaints fairly, promptly and at no extra cost to you.
2. What is a complaint?
2.1. A complaint is an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience or detriment.
3. Making a complaint
3.1. You can refer a complaint to the supervisor for the person dealing with your matter, details of which are given in your initial Client Care Letter.
3.2. In the first instance, we would prefer that you write to us by email with full details of your complaint so that we have a good understanding of the issues being highlighted, but you are able to tell us about it by post, by telephone or in person.
4. Special requirements
4.1. You should let us know as soon as possible if you think you have any special requirements. This will allow us to deal effectively with the complaint made by you. For example, if you consider you would prefer someone to make the complaint on your behalf, or if you would like us to provide documents to you in large print, please do let us know and we will do our best to provide assistance to you.
5. Investigating the complaint
5.1. We will acknowledge the complaint within seven days of receipt of your complaint which allows for any postal delays and notify you who will be handling your complaint. This will usually be the supervisor for the person dealing with your matter.
5.2. We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will conduct a full investigation and an independent review of the matter.
5.3. We aim to respond in full within 28 days. However, if the complaint is of a more complex nature, we may require more time, but we will let you know when you will receive a full response. We may also invite you to meet with a manager to gather more information and resolve the matter.
5.4. We will reply to you, usually in writing by email following the outcome of the review of the complaint investigated.
5.5. Where the complaint is upheld we will offer remedial action or redress. This will be actioned promptly.
5.6. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, or the way the complaint has been handled, you may write to the Head of Conveyancing, Rebecca de Andrade at Rebecca.email@example.com and also at the address above, who will make such further investigations as are necessary and notify you of the outcome of the review, their conclusion and any alternative proposals for remedial action within 28 days. Any suggested remedial action will be actioned promptly. Please mark any email or letter for the attention of the Head of Conveyancing.
5.7. If still unresolved at this stage, you may take the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or, in accordance with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Scheme Provider. We will issue a final letter advising you of this.
6. Legal ombudsman
6.1. The Legal Ombudsman is the independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007 to deal with complaints against lawyers.
6.2. Before it will consider a complaint the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the firm’s internal Complaints Procedure (outlined above) has been exhausted. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that the firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to
investigate further. You can also use the Ombudsman service if we have not resolved your complaint within 8 weeks of us receiving it.
6.3. You will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission, giving rise to the complaint. Alternatively, 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint.
6.4. The Legal Ombudsman’s address and contact details are:
(a) Postal: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ;
(b) Telephone: 0300 555 0333;
(c) Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk; or
(d) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Alternative dispute resolution schemes
7.1. Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
7.2. However, we don’t currently agree to use this Alternative Dispute Resolution service in view of the availability of the independent Legal Ombudsman Service established under the Legal Services Act 2007. We are bound by our Regulatory Code to comply with the Legal Ombudsman.
8. Contracts entered into online
8.1. If we are unable to resolve your complaint which relates to a contract entered into online, you may contact the Online Dispute Resolution providers by accessing the following link
9. Review of complaints
9.1. We will review all complaints on an annual basis to determine if there are any themes and take positive action to put things right to prevent further similar complaints from being made.