We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need our clients to tell us about it. This will help improve our standards. Whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problems with the person acting on your case to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you. Often, matters can be quickly resolved in this way.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact us by post at our office at 2 Edith Street, Consett, County Durham DH8 5DW, telephone 01207 502532 or email email@example.com. Our policy aims to ensure that your complaint is dealt with promptly, fairly and free of charge. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- We will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Client Care Partner, Miss Verity Dobbie, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
- We will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within seven days of that meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting, or it is not possible, you will be sent a detailed written reply to your complaint, including the suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another senior member of the firm to review the decision.
- We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, or if we have not resolved it within eight weeks, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. We would hope that this does not become necessary and that we can resolve matters between ourselves. Contact details are as follows:
The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned, or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.
Complaints about your bill
The above complaints procedure also applies to complaints arising concerning our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; and if all, or part, of a bill remains unpaid, the Practice may be entitled to charge interest.
Raising concerns with our regulator
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help you 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. You can find information about raising your concerns with the SRA at: www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.
Alternative dispute resolution
Alternative complaints bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm consent to use such a scheme. In the event that you wish to use an alternative complaint body, you should advise us accordingly.