Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint please let us know by speaking to the individual with overall responsibility in relation to any particular matter. You will find details of who this is in your engagement documents (engagement letter or Summary of Work & Pricing document).
If you would prefer to discuss the matter with someone else, you should contact James Davis, our Complaints Principal based at Seebeck House, 1 Seebeck Place, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8FR. Telephone no 0845 070 6000; email address: [email protected]
Your complaint will be looked into carefully and promptly and we will do all we can to explain the position to you. If we have given you a less than satisfactory service, we will do everything reasonable to put it right and, if you are still not satisfied, you may of course take up matters with the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) who will look at your complaint independently. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within 6 months of receiving a final response to your complaint;
- No more than 1 year from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than 1 year from the date you became aware of the issue you want to complain about.
The Legal Ombudsman can review complaints made by consumers and organisations within the following categories:
- All members of the public (individuals);
- Beneficiaries and personal representatives of an estate, if someone has died, and there is a problem with their Will or Estate;
- Very small businesses;
- Charities, clubs and trusts.
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. If it seems appropriate we will suggest a meeting at this stage. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
- We will then record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will investigate your complaint by examining the relevant file and speaking to the person with responsibility for the work.
- If appropriate we will invite you to meet the person dealing with your complaint to discuss and hopefully resolve any issues. We would hope to be in a position to meet with you in this way no longer than 14 days after first receiving your complaint. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreeable timescale, the person dealing with your complaint will write to you setting out his views on the situation and any redress that we would feel to be appropriate.
- Within two days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions that we have agreed with you. In appropriate cases we could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within 10 days. This will happen in one of the following ways:
• The person dealing with your complaint will review his decision.
• We will arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it, or James Davis, our client care principal, will review your complaint within 10 days.
• We will ask another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint. We will let you know in writing how long this process will take.
• We will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know in writing how long this process will take.
- 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 you are still unhappy with the outcome you can contact the Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should usually be made within 6 months of our final decision on your complaint, however further information can be obtained from the Legal Ombudsman by telephoning them on 0300 555 033, or by email at [email protected] . Further information can be found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
- If you have concerns about our conduct, or believe that we may have acted dishonestly, taking or losing your money, or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic, your complaint will need to be referred to our regulator the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
- Civil Mediation Council (CMC) Mediation
Where we provide mediation services through an individual regulated mediator registered with the CMC, we are required to investigate any complaints made against us or the mediator within strict time limits. All complaints:
(a) will be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days of receipt.
(b) will be investigated by our Complaints Principal and responded to in writing within 21 days of receipt.
(c) If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you may refer the matter to the CMC on certain grounds as set out on the CMC website. The CMC can be contacted on 01707 594104, or [email protected]