Our Complaints Policy
We are committed to providing a 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.
In the first instance you should raise your complaint with the Head of Department or Team Leader of the fee earner who is acting for you. In the event that that does not resolve the issue then you should put your complaint in writing to Mr Paul Carvis, the Partner responsible for dealing with client care. You can contact him at:-
8 – 16 Dock Street
Tel: 0113 225 8811 Fax: 0113 225 8833
What Will Happen Next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the detail set out. If Mr Carvis is unable to deal with the complaint we will advise you as to the name of an alternative Partner who will be asked to review the matter. You can expect to receive our letter within 3 working days of him receiving your complaint.
- We will record your complaint in our Central Register and open a file for your complaint. We will do this within five days of receiving your complaint.
- We will then start to investigate your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps:-
- We may ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint
- We may examine their reply and the information in your complaint file. We may then ask them for more information.
- Calling for the relevant file and considering the same.
- We shall endeavour to resolve your complaint in writing. The Legal Ombudsman requires a response within 8 weeks of receiving your complaint but we shall endeavour to fore-shorten the response if at all possible.
In the event that the complaint cannot be resolved in writing, then we are happy for you to meet Mr Carvis to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.
Should such a meeting take place, we will endeavour within 7 days of that meeting to write to you to confirm what was discussed at the meeting and hopefully any solution that we will have agreed with you.
Having received our response either in writing or at the aforementioned meeting, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again and should do so within 14 days of receiving Mr Carvis’ decision.
- We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways:-
- Should you raise any further or additional matter then Mr Carvis will review his own decision within 14 days of receipt of the same.
- We will arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it. They will do this within 21 days.
- We will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take.
- We will let you know the result of the review within 7 days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explain our reasons.
- If we have to change any of the time scales above we will let you know and explain why.
If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman (address P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ, website www.legalombudsman.org.uk telephone number 0300 555 0333) or email email@example.com to consider the complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman will only look at issues that arose after 5 October 2010 and you must complain to them within either:
Six years of the problem happening; or
Three years from when you found out about it (if it took place more than six years ago)
You will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving our final response.
If your complaint does not meet these time limits the Legal Ombudsman may not be able to investigate it.
The final response is when you receive from us a letter confirming that if you remain unhappy with our decision you can contact the Legal Ombudsman.
Please note that alternative bodies such as Pro-Mediate (www.promediate.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should you and we agree to use such a scheme. Please note that we do not agree necessarily to use Pro-Mediate.
Also, should you have received our client care information including our statement of terms and terms of business at the outset of your matter from us electronically, under the EU Regulation on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution, you may use the online dispute resolution platform (http://ec.europa.eu/odr) . Our email address for this is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you should have a complaint about conduct, you may contact the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA). Details of the SRA can be found at www.sra.org.uk or by writing to them at The Cube, 199 Wharfeside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN.