We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service and to dealing with all our clients fairly. However sometimes we may not get it right so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to any bill, we ask that clients tell us.
The following describes how we handle complaints and ensure we meet our regulatory obligations.
Fundamentally, it is vital that we handle complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively.
We must inform clients in writing at the outset of a matter of:
This is covered within the Client Information Pack and the Terms of Business.
All complaints are handled by a Client Service Team manager. The details of the complaint will be entered into the complaints register by Matt Cutlan, our Chief Operating Officer.
Throughout the process of the complaint the Client Service Team manager will also document:
The Client Service Team manager and COO will consider whether a complaint involves matters that need to be notified externally, (e.g. to our professional indemnity insurers if the complaint involves negligence).
The Client Service Team manager will acknowledge complaints in writing to the complainant within 5 working days, enclosing a copy of our Client Facing Complaints Policy.
Our acknowledgement letter will contain:
The client will also be invited to attend a meeting (generally by phone or video-call) should they so wish where they will be able to outline and discuss their concerns.
The Client Service Team manager will consider each complaint objectively.
This stage involves three steps:
Any action will depend on the conclusions drawn from the preliminary assessment.
Generally, the Client Service Team manager will:
The level and extent of the investigations will be proportionate to the seriousness of the complaint. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the Client Service Team manager will review the relevant matter file as a first step.
Both clients and others involved in the complaint will be given the opportunity to provide their account of the situation and respond to points raised.
The Client Service Team manager will respond to the complainant promptly with any decision or proposed action. We will aim to do this within 10 working days of receiving the full details of the complaint from the client. If there is a delay, we will write to the complainant to explain the reasons.
The Client Service Team manager’s response will:
The complainant’s decision will be recorded.
The client will be informed of their right to ask for a review if they are not happy with the outcome of our initial review
In this case our Chief Operating Officer will review the matter. He will follow a similar process to that outlined in 2.6 above. He will also take into account any additional information that may be provided by the client or by those dealing with the matter originally.
The COO will respond to the client with the outcomes of his review within 10 working days of the review request. The client will again be reminded of their right to refer the matter to the LeO should they so wish.
We have eight weeks to resolve a complaint, after which the complainant may refer their complaint to the LeO for resolution.
As with all client matters, we will treat complaints, and any information received during the course of dealing with complaints, with utmost confidentiality.
Our complaints handling procedure is sensitive to individual differences and needs of our clients.
Last updated: February 2022