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What you should know

We recognise any expression of dissatisfaction as a potential complaint. We will always attempt to deal with any expression of dissatisfaction by informal resolution. This will often involve a telephone conversation during which we will hope to resolve any queries or concerns that you have.

If we are unable to resolve your dissatisfaction informally then we will move to a more formal approach.

If you have a complaint and have contacted us with details and we have not been able to deal with the matter by phone, this document will tell you how we intend to deal with it.

What will happen next?

Our Complaints Handling Partner is Mr Shutler. He is also our Managing Partner and Compliance Officer for Legal practice.

1.            We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the precise nature of what you think has gone wrong. Usually we will do this within 3 working days of us receiving your initial letter of complaint.

2.            Next we will record your complaint in our central register and open a separate complaint file. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. We will tell you whether we intend to deal with your complaint by correspondence or by a meeting. If you especially request a meeting then we will try and accommodate this.

3.            When you have confirmed the nature of what you think has gone wrong we will carry out our investigation. This will normally involve the following steps.

We will pass a copy of your complaint to the Department Head and the member of staff who acted for you will be asked to explain what has happened.

If your complaint is about a Department Head then the matter will be investigated by the Firms Managing Partner. If your complaint is about the Managing Partner then it will be investigated by another partner.
We will then write to you and tell you the result of the investigation and if appropriate offer our solution. We aim to deal with this within 15 working days of you confirming the nature of your complaint.

4.            If you are still not satisfied you must contact us immediately. At this stage we may offer you a meeting, either in person or by telephone to discuss your continued dissatisfaction.   

5.            If appropriate we will arrange for a review by another Partner of the firm who has not been connected with the initial enquiry. Usually we will undertake this review within 10 working days and then write to you with the result of the second enquiry.

6.            We will let you know the result of the review within 5 working days we will also write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome you can contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint but you must do this within six months of the end of the work which we have done for you or within six months of finding out that there was a problem. Their details appear below.

Where we have advised you of our final decision, we will not reply to persistent telephone calls, e mails or other correspondence about your complaint and we reserve the right to terminate our retainer.

Please note that at this stage we may also invite you to agree to take independent advice.

We always aim to complete this process within eight weeks (40 working days) of you confirming the specific reasons for your complaint. If we have to change any of the timescales above we will let you know and explain why. This may arise if the matter is particularly complex or if one of the persons involved is either on holiday or absent through sickness or if you have not replied to us where we have needed to ask you specific questions about your complaint.

If you raise other areas of dissatisfaction that could not have been contemplated form your initial confirmation of complaint, we will tell you if we need extra time.

We will always deal with you in a courteous manner and in return we expect our clients to be courteous to our staff. We will not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour in which case we reserve the right to end our review process and terminate our retainer.

8.            If in the first instance you have complained directly to the Legal Ombudsman without reference to our procedure then we will ask for an opportunity to investigate the matter in house before referring back to the Legal Ombudsman.

If we do not receive a reply from you at any time during this process we will usually write you a reminder advising that if we do not hear from you further we will assume the matter is concluded and close our file.

We do not make a charge for investigating complaints about our level service.

The Legal Ombudsman.

        Phone: 0300 555 0333 (inside the UK), 08.00 to 18.00, Monday to Friday

        E-mail: enquiries@legalombudsman.org .uk

        Post: Legal Ombudsman. PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

        Web:         http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk