We aim to deal with any complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively. Should any problem arise at any stage in a client’s case they should not hesitate to contact the solicitor having conduct of their case.
In the unlikely event of a client needing to formally complain, we operate a complaints procedure. It is the policy of the firm that every complaint is:
- reported and recorded centrally,
- responded to appropriately; and
- the cause of the problem is identified, appropriate redress is offered, and
- unsatisfactory procedures are corrected
We inform clients in writing at the outset of their case of their right to complain and how complaints can be made. We also advise them of their right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman in the event that they are unhappy with the service they have received, the time frame for doing so and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman. We also advise them of their right to complain to our regulatory body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, in the event that a client has any concerns regarding the professional conduct of a solicitor. Further details of when a complaint should be directed towards the Legal Ombudsman and when it should be directed towards the Solicitors Regulation Authority can be found on the Solicitors Regulation Authority website at http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page
If we enter into a contract with you and/or you become a client of the firm by electronic means (such as email or online) then, in addition to any rights or redress you may have through the Legal Ombudsman, you may be entitled to use an EU online dispute resolution platform to assist with any complaint or dispute you may have about our services. This online platform can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/odr
When a client makes a complaint, it is handled in accordance with our complaints handling procedure. On receipt of a complaint our principal sends the client our standard letter which sets out our complaints handling procedure and outlines the relevant stages and timescales.
We allow a maximum of eight weeks to consider the complaint. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem within that timeframe, we advise the client again in writing of their right to pass the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
We record every complaint centrally. All complaints are referred to our principal, Tina Wagon, who:
- reviews the matter with any staff member involved;
- identifies the cause of any problems of which the client has complained;
- determines what degree of validity the complaint has; and
- decides how the complaint should be resolved.
Where Tina Wagon identifies a potential negligence claim or where a client claims financial loss, compensation or threatens legal action, she will decide, in conjunction with our insurers, whether we should continue with the complaints procedure or adopt some other course of action.
Tina Wagon will offer the client appropriate redress and recommend amendments to unsatisfactory procedures where appropriate. She will then ensure that any unsatisfactory procedures are corrected.