This Charter sets out the standards you can expect from us when you access our services. It is our commitment to you in what to expect from us in terms of client care.
Our Commitment – We will :
• Put your interests first when representing you
• Deal with you in a courteous and professional way
• Find out at the beginning what you want to achieve
• Ensure that your expectations are achievable and realistic
• Use plain English, explain things clearly in terms that you can understand
• Send you a retainer letter at the commencement of our instructions and provide you with clear details of our terms of business
• Tell you who will be handling your work
• Explain what the costs are likely to be in terms of our professional charges, disbursements and VAT. If we give you a fixed quotation this will not change unless there are matters we could not reasonably have known about in which case we will advise you immediately
• Keep you periodically informed of costs
• Help you work out if a particular course of action is worth pursuing financially
• Respond to your letters, telephone calls and e-mails promptly. (Whilst we will make every effort to reply promptly it may not always be possible for you to contact the Partner/Fee Earner concerned directly. In these circumstances an assistant or secretary will deal with your enquiry).
• Tell you about developments which we consider important and update you on progress as work proceeds
• Provide you with a clear account of our charges showing the work we have done for you
• Treat all clients fairly and not discriminate against anyone because of their race, sex, sexual orientation (sexuality) or disability
• Not act for anyone else if doing so would cause a conflict of interest
• Keep what you tell us confidential.
We have a legal duty to release information about money laundering and Solicitors also have a duty to the Court. These duties will always override the duty of confidentiality or the requirement to put your interests first.
Your Responsibilities to us
We can only give the best advice and service when the information you give to us is accurate and complete. You must therefore give us instructions that allow us to do our work properly and not ask us to work in an improper or unreasonable way. You must not deliberately mislead us, you must be open and honest and co-operate with us to enable us to give you our best advice. You must provide documentation upon request and reply in a timely fashion to our correspondence and telephone calls. You must also advise us of any change in your address or contact details. Whilst we will tell you about important developments affecting your matter it is necessary that our clients understand that it would not be cost effective for us to tell you about everything that happens.
What to do if you have a complaint
Sometimes things go wrong and when they do we need to know about it. This is why we have a clear and effective Complaints Procedure. If you have a complaint about our services please contact the firms Managing Partner (Mike Shutler) on 01202 291291. In the event that we are not able to resolve your complaint you can contact the Legal Ombudsman, telephone number: 0300 555 0333 or write PO Box 15570, Birmingham, B30 9EB www.legalombudsman.org.co.uk but you must do this within six months of finding out there was a problem or within six months of the end of the work that we were doing.
Please note that only members of the public, very small companies and charities, trusts and clubs have the right to have their complaint investigated by the Legal Ombudsman. For further information in connection with this please see the Legal Ombudsman’s website.
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