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COMPLAINTS POLICY

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Our Complaints policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. If something goes wrong please tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

We are responsible to the Solicitors Regulation Authority which defines a complaint as “an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience or other detriments” (SRA Code of Conduct Chapter 14).

Where the service you want from us is our Legal Department’s Debt Recovery Service, we will inform you, before we start providing the service, that we have this policy and that you are entitled to complain if there is a problem. This will include cases that start in our Legal Department but become defended and are transferred to our Commercial Litigation Department.

Where you instruct our Commercial Litigation Department direct on a matter we will inform you at the outset of the matter that you have the right to complain if there is a problem.

You may request a copy of this policy at any time.

 

Our Complaints procedures

1. If you have a complaint, please contact the Department Manager involved giving details of your concern.

2. The Department Manager will acknowledge your complaint by letter or email within 3 working days of receiving your complaint and will send you a copy of this Policy.

3. We will record your complaint in our central register and also in our Client services database.

4. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps.

a.  The Department Manager will ask the member of staff who acted for you to give us their response to your complaint.

b.  After examining the staff member’s reply and all the complaint information received, the Department Manager will send you our formal written response, normally within 14 working days of our acknowledgment letter or email. If the Manager finds that there has been a problem she or he will propose a solution and if necessary discuss with you how matters can be put right. We will also review our internal procedures to try and prevent the same issue arising again.

c.  Department Managers are:

→  Commercial Litigation – Cassandra McCarthy

→  Legal Department – Karen Johnson

→  Prelegal – Ben Millward


d.  The person with overall responsibility for complaints is Michael Higgins


5. If you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. Our Managing Director will review our decision and let you have his written views, normally within 14 working days of your letter/email.

6. If we have to change any of the timescales in this policy, we will let you know and explain why.

7. We will be happy to arrange a meeting with you at any point while dealing with your complaint and to discuss the possibility of mediation with you if that might be helpful. Within 6 working days of any meeting, we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions that have been agreed with you.

8. If your complaint is alleging negligence on our part, we will report the matter to our insurers and ask you to take up the matter directly with them.

9. We confirm clients will never be charged the cost of handling a complaint.

Legal Ombudsman

If, at the end of this procedure, your complaint remains unresolved you can contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint on 0300 555 0333 or at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk; or write to PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

You cannot normally use the Legal Ombudsman service unless you have first used our complaints procedure.  There are exceptions to this, for example, where a complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks.

If you are not happy with our response and feel you need to take the matter further, you have six months from our written response to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, provided we warned you of this time limit.

Generally, a complaint must be made to the Legal Ombudsman within six years of the act/omission giving rise to the complaint or three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman may extend these time limits where there are exceptional circumstances and it is fair to do so, for example, if you are prevented from meeting a time limit by serious illness or had started our complaints procedure within the time limit.

 

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