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. If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details, preferably in writing. You will not be charged for handling your complaint.
We expect complaints to be made to us within a year of the date of the act or omission raising the concern or within a year of discovering there is a concern.
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 5 working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure and confirming the timescale within which we will handle your complaint.
- We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Client Care Partner. Within 15 working days of receiving your complaint he or she will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you or if the complaint relates to a legal issue pass the complaint to the Head of the relevant practice group to provide a report to him or her.
- Our Client Care Partner may invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. If you would like a meeting at any time let us know.
- Within 5 working days of any meeting, our Client Care Partner will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he or she has agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or for some reason it is not possible, our Client Care Partner will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his or her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 20 working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another partner unconnected with the matter at the firm to review the decision.
- We will write to you within 10 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If you are still not satisfied, you may contact:
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you. For further information, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or at email@example.com.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
If at any time we do not hear from you for a period of 2 months when it would be appropriate for you to respond to us we shall assume you have decided not to pursue your complaint and close our file.
How and when to complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) deals with cases where firms or individuals it regulates (regulated person) have breached the SRA Principles. The SRA does not have the power to award compensation for poor service, or to reduce or refund your legal fees.
However, you should report the matter directly to SRA if you think a firm or anyone it regulates has breached an SRA Principle.
You can also report a firm or regulated person for non-payment of professional fees (such as agent or expert fees) if
- you have a County Court judgment in respect of the fee, and
- the judgment relates to the practice in connection with providing a legal service.
When reporting, please
- set out your concerns clearly,
- identify individuals you consider responsible,
- attach any evidence you have in support.
Send it to SRA at www.sra.org.uk/home/contact-us/ or call 0370 606 2555
SRA cannot provide advice about your issue, however they can point you in the right direction.
Where there is a failure to comply with the Principles, the SRA take into account the risk posed to the public and consumers to help them decide how best to ensure they are protected. Where the risk posed is serious the SRA can take formal enforcement action, such as limiting or restricting the way they work. In very serious cases, we can close a firm or ensure an individual is unable to practice in the future.
The SRA do not have the power to resolve complaints about poor service. Neither can they require a law firm to compensate you.