If you are not happy with the service that you have received
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients, however, if you are unhappy with the service you have received please tell us about it. This will help us to improve our service to our clients.
What is a complaint?
- A report by a client that their expectations of what they consider to be a good service has not been met; or
- A report by a prospective client that we have unreasonably refused a service to them and/or persistently or unreasonably offered a service that they do not want
Our complaints procedure
If you have a concern, or complaint, please contact the person dealing with your matter as soon as you become aware of the issue to try and resolve it with them. In many cases the person dealing with your matter will be able to resolve any issue for you immediately. This procedure will also apply to prospective clients who we have refused to provide a service to, or persistently, or unreasonably offered an unwanted service to, but only if the prospective client has evidence to show that we did not have reasonable grounds to do so.
If the issue is not resolved at this point the matter will be referred to the person’s Supervisor. The name of the Supervisor will be given to you by the person dealing with your matter. The Supervisor will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 7 days of becoming involved and will enclose a copy of this procedure.
The Supervisor will carry out an independent investigation and respond to you, usually within 14 days. Sometimes we may suggest a meeting if we think it would help resolve the issues. If the Supervisor is unable to produce a full reply within the 14 day period, they will contact you again with an estimated date by which they expect to have completed their investigations.
If the Supervisor is unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction they will refer your matter to one of our senior lawyers. The Supervisor will give you the details of the senior lawyer.
Our Partner with ultimate responsibility for client care is Susan Lewis. If necessary, she will review your complaint if the people identified in this process so far are unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction. Susan will review the findings of the investigation carried out to that point and will give you her response, including her suggestions for resolution, within 21 days of the matter being referred to her.
If at the end of this process you remain unhappy you should contact us again to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will review your comments. We will write to you within 14 days advising you of our final position on your complaint and explaining the reasons. If you are not satisfied with our response, or if we have taken over 8 weeks to reply then you should contact the Legal Ombudsman.
If you remain unhappy after the above process has been followed, you can take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving our final response and 6 years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint, or alternatively 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6 October 2010, or was more than 6 years ago).
Please refer to the escalation process set out at the end of this procedure for guidance.
The Legal Ombudsman
Before they will investigate a complaint, the Legal Ombudsman will require the firm’s internal Complaints Procedure to have been exhausted.
The Legal Ombudsman may:
- Investigate the quality of professional service supplied by a solicitor to a client
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has unreasonably refused to supply a professional service to a prospective client
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has persistently, or unreasonably offered a professional service that the client does not want
- First Instance The person handling your case
- Second Instance A Supervisor
- Third Instance A Senior Lawyer, as advised by Supervisor
- Fourth Instance Susan Lewis
Client Care Director’s contact details
Susan Lewis is based at Glebe Court, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 1ET. Her telephone number is (01782) 840548, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have concerns about a Solicitor who you have not instructed, or if your complaint relates to a breach of Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Principles or to an allegation of dishonesty or discrimination, you can report the issue to the SRA.