Making a first tier complaint
- If you have a complaint, please send a letter or an email to the solicitor who looks after your matter, setting out the details. Alternatively, if you would prefer, you can direct your complaint to the Senior Partner, Marcus Dearle.
- This is known as a first tier complaint.
- The firm has 8 weeks within which to try to resolve your complaint.
- Within 1 week of receiving your complaint the firm will send you a letter, or an email (if we usually communicate with you by email), acknowledging receipt of your complaint and enclosing a further copy of this policy.
- Within 3 weeks of receiving your complaint, the firm will investigate your complaint and will either (a) send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including the firm’s suggestions for resolving the matter; or (b) invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. If a meeting takes place, we will write to you within 1 week of the meeting to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.
- If you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again within 2 weeks of receiving the written reply or the summary referred to in paragraph 5. The Senior Partner, Marcus Dearle, or another partner nominated by him, will review the decision. The firm will write to you, usually within 2 weeks, confirming our final position and explaining our reasons.
Making a second tier complaint
- If the firm is unable to resolve your complaint, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, which will look at your complaint independently. This is called a second tier complaint.
- The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted as follows:
Post: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Tel: 0300 555 0333 (+44 121 245 3050 if you call from overseas)
- Before it accepts 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;
and not later than:
– One year from the date of the act/omission being complained about; or
– One year from when you should have realised there was cause for complaint.
- If you wait any longer than this the Legal Ombudsman will refuse to deal with your complaint, although it retains a discretion to extend the one year time limit if, on the evidence, it concludes that it is fair and reasonable to do so.
- If your complaint is about a bill, you may have the right to apply to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
- 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. You can visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns:
- If we have to change any of the timescales referred to in this policy, we will let you know and explain why.