What happens if you want to raise informal concerns about our service?
We want you to be pleased with our legal service and to recommend us to others. If you have any concerns at all, please raise them initially with the person who has been advising you or a director of the Company. We will always aim to resolve any concerns informally where it is possible and appropriate to do so.
How should you raise a formal complaint?
If your concerns are more serious, and you wish to raise a formal complaint, you should do so in writing to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP), Robert Postlethwaite via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to him at Postlethwaite Solicitors Limited 9 Staple Inn, London WC1V 7QH. Please write as soon as possible after the circumstances that give rise to the complaint, and in any event no later than 10 months afterwards. We may not investigate any complaints that are made outside those time limits and you also may lose the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman if you wait too long to raise a complaint.
How we handle complaints
As required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Code of Practice, we must deal with a client’s complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively. We are also obliged to provide information about our complaints procedure to our clients at the outset of their matter, and this is communicated in our client care letter.
In practice, this means that we will usually acknowledge the complaint within two working days of receipt. In most cases, the COLP will investigate the complaint. If the complaint is about the COLP, the person investigating the complaint will usually be another director of the Company.
The investigator will review your complaint with the person about whom the complaint is made, and will look at all necessary papers and records and make any other necessary enquiries. They may ask to meet with you if it would be necessary or desirable to do so, in order to resolve the complaint.
In our response we will set out the investigations that have been made and set out our conclusions in relation to each aspect of your complaint. If we conclude that our standards have fallen short of your expectations, we will explain what we believe went wrong and propose one or more remedies to you.
We do not charge for responding to complaints.
Timeframes for responding
We will always respond substantively to complaints within 56 days of receiving them, in line with the Legal Ombudsman’s expectations. Wherever possible, we will respond sooner.
Complaints about fees
If your complaint relates to our fees, you may also have the right to challenge our fees by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitor’s Act 1974. Please note that certain time limits apply to these procedures.
Complaint to the SRA and/or Legal Ombudsman
Please note that we do not have an internal appeals process if you are dissatisfied with our response. You may nevertheless have the right to complain to the SRA (if the complaint concerns the breach of SRA principles such as dishonesty or losing your money) or the Legal Ombudsman (if the complaint is about poor service, including complaints about fees). This right is available to all individual clients and to some organisational clients.
The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted at:
The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
Please be aware that the Legal Ombudsman has published certain rules on its website in relation to complaints, including rules as to who can complain, what they can complain about, the time limits within which to complain. If you do wish to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, you must do so within six months of receiving our response and within six years from the date of the act/omission, or three years from when you should have known about the complaint.