The Practice is committed to provide 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.
Our Aims is to :-
1 Investigate complaints fully and fairly after all the information needed has been provided.
2 Give our client the opportunity to air their grievances to someone who shows a clear desire to reach a just decision.
3 Respect our clients desire for confidentiality, our client should be aware that their complaint will not effect the way we treat then in the future.
4 Provide practical solutions to all the points raised in the complaint.
5 Learn from our mistakes.
A copy of our Complaints Procedure is available free of charge at any time.
A complaint is defined as ‘ any expression of client dissatisfaction ‘, whether it is in writing, over the telephone or in person.
Sometimes a complaint is merely an expression of dissatisfaction with our service that does not require our formal complaints’ procedure to be invoked. Whether an expression of dissatisfaction or complaint requires a formal or informal solution will depend on a number of factors. The three most important of which are :-
1 The clients view how the expression of dissatisfaction / complaint should be resolved.
2 Whether the expression of dissatisfaction/ complaint can be dealt with quickly and smoothly at the first contact with the client by the partner or member of staff who hears the concern. Can the matter be dealt with by an apology and the offer of a practical solution ?
3 The view of Ruth Oakes. ( or Julian Farley if the complaint is against Ruth Oakes ).
If the matter can be dealt with informally then the director or member of staff should make an accurate note of what was said and the solution offered. That note shall be passed to Ruth Oakes immediately. Ruth Oakes will then decide whether any internal action is required.
If the complaint requires a more formal investigation then clients will be encouraged to invoke our formal complaints’ procedure by contacting us with the details of the complaint.
We will then within three days send a letter to
a Acknowledge your complaint and ask you to confirm or explain the details of the complaint
b Give you the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint
c Enclose a copy of our complaints procedure.
We will Record the Complaint in our Central Complaints Register.
Investigation of your Complaint
a Your Complaint will be passed to Ruth Oakes our Client Care Manager ( or Julian Farley if the complaint is against Ruth Oakes ).
b She will ask the person against whom the complaint is made to reply to the complaint within 5 days.
c She will then examine the reply and the information in your complaint file.
d She will then contact you within 3 days to discuss the complaint. The complaint will be discussed either in person or over the phone and hopefully your complaint can be satisfactorily resolved.
e Within 2 days of the meeting she will write to you to confirm what took place and any solution that she has agreed with you.
If the client does not want a meeting or a meeting is not possible then Ruth Oakes will send the client a detailed reply to the complaint. This will include her suggestions for resolving the matter. She will do this within 5 days of completing the investigation.
If the complaint is against Ruth Oakes then Julian Farley will investigate the complaint.
External Appeal – If we cannot resolve your complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
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 six months of receiving a final response to your complaint
- Within one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about : or
- Within one year from the date when the complainant should have realised that there was a cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.