Our Complaints Policy

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.

Our Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint, contact us with the details.

What will happen next?

1) We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the details set out. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within two days of us receiving your complaint.

2) We will record your complaint in our central register and open a separate file for your complaint. We will do this within a day of receiving your complaint.

3) We will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgement letter and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to hear from us within two days of your reply.

4) We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps: –

  • We will pass your complaint to Mr David Hall, our Complaints Manager within three days.
  • He will ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint within five days
  • He will then examine their reply and the information in your complaint file. And, if necessary, he may also speak to them. This will take up to three days from receiving their reply and the file.

5) Mr Hall will then invite you to meet him and discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within three days. Please note that you are not obliged to attend a meeting.

6) Within two days of the meeting, Mr Hall will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.

If you do not want a meeting or if it is not possible, Mr Hall will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter. He will do this within five days of completing his investigation.

7) At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways: –

  • Another partner of the firm will review Mr Hall’s decision within ten days.
  • We will ask our local Law Society or another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint within five days. We will let you know how long this process will take.
  • We will invite you to agree to independent mediation within five days. We will let you know how long this process will take.

8) We will let you know the result of the review within five days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

If we change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

Escalating your Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with our response to your complaint, then we may decide to arrange a telephone call or meeting with you in the hope of resolving any outstanding concerns you may have. This may involve which aspects of your complaint are still unresolved.

Alternatively, if you request for your complaint to be considered by someone else, we will arrange for your complaint to be reviewed by the Firm’s Complaints Manager. If the Complaints Manager has already investigated your complaint and issued the initial response, then this will instead be carried out by a Director of the Firm.

If we need to alter any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why. However, we aim to resolve all complaints within eight weeks of first receiving them.

Escalation to the Legal Ombudsman

In the unfortunate event that we have not resolved matters within eight weeks of you making your complaint, or if we inform you that you have reached the end of our complaints handling process, you are free to take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

The Legal Ombudsman aims to reconcile complaints and to assist clients and their solicitors reach a fair resolution. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman:

Referrals to the Legal Ombudsman should be made:

  • Within six months of receiving a written response to your complaint; and
  • Within one year of the date of the act/omission; or when you reasonably should have known that there was cause for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman may decide not to investigate your complaint if you complain to them outside of these time limits.

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help 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.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/)

Complaining about a Bill

If you have a complaint about your bill, then you may be entitled to apply to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part Ill of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you wish to take advantage of this procedure, you should be aware that there are strict time limits applicable, and you may wish to seek independent legal advice. You should also be aware that:

  • Within 1 month from the date of our invoice your right to a detailed assessment is unconditional. However, if you delay beyond a month then the court may impose restrictions;
  • After 1 year from the date of the invoice you will lose the right to a detailed assessment, unless there are special circumstances.
  • The Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the court for such an assessment.