We try hard to provide an excellent service to our clients. We hope that we will meet or exceed clients’ expectations so that they will not feel the need to complain, but where this is not the case and the complaint is merited, we will take appropriate action.
What is a complaint?
The SRA now defines a complaint as being any expression of dissatisfaction that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience or other detriment. However, a client may have a justifiable cause of complaint if the service they receive falls below our usual standard, even if it does not meet this threshold. Common sense suggests that problems that are immediately resolved. The Legal Ombudsman will, in certain circumstances, entertain complaints from certain related parties who are non-clients of the firm and from people who have unreasonably been denied a service or offered a service inappropriately.
If an expression of dissatisfaction can be resolved to the client’s satisfaction at first instance, there is no need to do anything further. If the person raising the issue is not satisfied with the way we have dealt with their complaint initially, it will be treated as a ‘formal’ complaint. Such complaints will be referred for internal investigation straight away:
Recording and reporting complaints
All formal complaints are recorded on a complaints monitoring form and investigated thoroughly and impartially, obtaining and considering evidence objectively. You must co- operate in assisting her with this investigation. We will respond to the client within the timeframe below:
|Acknowledge complaint in writing and send a copy of the complaints procedure||Within 7 working days|
|Investigate the issues||
Within 21 days of receiving the complaint whenever possible
|Invite the person making the complaint to a meeting or to discuss the issues by telephone||On conclusion of investigation|
Confirm the outcome of the meeting or telephone conversation in writing
|Within three working days of the meeting or telephone conversation|
|If a meeting/telephone discussion is not possible or required:
Investigate the issues and write to the person with the outcome
|Within 21 days|
|Review and close the complaint||Within 8 weeks of receiving the complaint|
If it is not possible to adhere to the deadlines indicated above, we will write to the person raising the issues explaining why and providing a new date by which he or she will receive further contact and will:
At the conclusion of the internal investigation, we will remind clients that they may ask the Legal Ombudsman to investigate, usually within 12 months.
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