1. At the outset of the case, the conducting fee earner will ensure that certain information is conveyed to the client. This information should be set out in the client care letter or written terms of business. The information is:
    • who is responsible for the conduct of the case and which person the client should contact in the event of their unavailability, (normally, the fee earner’s personal assistant or colleague).
    • an outline of the firm’s complaints procedure
    • appropriate information as to costs / potential cost liability
    • copies of any appropriate leaflets.
  2. All of the firm’s employees are responsible for recording details of formal written complaints on Complaint Report Forms. Supplies of these forms are kept in the General Office / Reception. All written complaints must be recorded on the same day as they are received. A separate complaint file will be opened. The employee who recorded the complaint should immediately give a copy of the complaint report form, along with a copy of the complaint to Jill Clattenburg  practice manager. Philip Walker the Head of Compliance, or Kieran Magee, the director responsible for investigating complaints, should be notified that a complaint has been received. The complaint report form should be placed on the central complaints register which is kept with Jill’s records.
  3. If there is any doubt as to whether any given situation is to be considered and identified as a complaint, the matter should be referred to Nigel Miller or Philip Walker for their consideration.
  4. The director must consult with the fee earner about whom the complaint has been lodged, must read the casefile, and will contact the client in writing, within 14 working days, addressing the client’s complaint and confirming the further steps, if any, which will be taken by the firm.
  5. At this stage, if the client remains dissatisfied, they will be invited to write to the firm again explaining their reasons why they remain dissatisfied. The director who initially investigated the claim must then arrange for another director of the firm to review the original decision regarding the complaint. That review decision will be communicated to the client within 7 working days.
  6. If the client remains dissatisfied, the client will be provided with the following information:
    • You must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman
    • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint, and
    • No more than one year from the date of act/omission; or
    • No more than one year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

    The Legal Ombudsman may be reached at PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH or on +44 (0) 300 555 0333 or via their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.

  7. In the event of the firm receiving a complaint in respect of a breach of their equal opportunities policy in the instructions of experts or external agents, or identifying a breach upon file review or supervisory review, the firm will deal with this situation as a complaint in accordance with the above procedure.
  8. In the event of corrective action requiring the revision of the work instructions / operating procedures, the Quality Representative will be responsible for the drafting and distribution of the revised documents. The nominated person is responsible for updating the manual. Analysis of current complaints and their progress will be considered at the Management Review Meetings.
  9. The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Kieran Magee he will record and monitor any subject access requests.
  10. If you think a solicitor might be dishonest or you have concerns about their ethics or integrity, you also have the right to notify our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). There are no time limits for making a report but there are limits on what the SRA will consider. Please note that the SRA is not able to deal with issues of poor service (complaints of this nature should instead be referred to the Legal Ombudsman). For further information about the SRA’s role, please contact the SRA or visit their website.