With COVID restrictions lifting and the summer holiday fast approaching, we wanted to explore how the holiday may affect any child maintenance that is paid. Louise Kelly, Family Solicitor at...
We are committed to providing the best possible service to all our Clients. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the fee earner with conduct of your matter to discuss your concerns and they will do their best to resolve any issues.
- If you would like to make a complaint then please contact our Practice Manager, Joseph Mullis on 01453 847200 with the details. We will send you a copy of our Complaints Form or you can let us know how you prefer to communicate your complaint to us e.g. a meeting at the office or a letter detailing your complaint.
- We have eight weeks to consider and respond to your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman
A complaint is defined by the Legal Services Commission as:
“any expression of client dissatisfaction, however it is expressed”.
There is no charge for handling your complaint and making a complaint does not affect how we handle your case.
What Will Happen Next?
In order to progress matters efficiently we aim to observe the following timetable but ask that you treat the response dates as targets only:
- Within 2 working days we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and inviting you to confirm or explain the details by completing and returning the Complaint Form or arranging an alternate way to communicate to us e.g. a meeting at the office, if appropriate.
- We will record your complaint in our Central Register and open a separate file for your complaint.
- Within a further five working days of receipt of your Complaint Form or letter of complaint or your complaint having been communicated to us in an alternate agreed method, we will acknowledge it and confirm what will happen next.
- We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
- We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps:-
- We will pass your complaint to the Director handling your complaint (“The Complaints Director”, Catherine Green).
- The Complaints Director will ask the member of staff who acted for you to comment upon your complaint.
- The Complaints Director will then examine his or her reply and the information you have provided and if necessary go through it with the member of staff and examine the file.
- The Complaints Director will then make contact with you within 40 working days of the acknowledgement of your Complaint to put forward the Company’s suggestions to resolve the matter. The contact may take the form of either a letter or email, or an invitation to a personal meeting or both.
- If a meeting takes place, the Complaints Director will write to you to confirm the fact and any solutions he/she has agreed with you within 5 working days of the meeting.
Reviewing The Decision
At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you may write to the Legal Ombudsman (address below) or you can write to us again within 10 working days of receipt of the Company’s proposals to resolve the matter requesting another Director to review the decision.
We will then either:
- Agree to the review and pass the matter to another Director of the Company who will review the Complaints Director’s decision and write to you confirming our final position within 15 working days of receipt of your request; or
- Decline to review the decision and invite you to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
- The legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting 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 receive a final response to your complaint and no more than six years from the date of act/omission; or no more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them on:
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00am to 5.00pm. Calls to 03 numbers will cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers (starting 01 or 02) from both mobiles and landlines. Calls are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes.
For minicom call 0300 555 1777
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.
Alternative complaints bodies such as Ombudsman Services (www.ombundsman-services.org) exist, which are competent to deal with complaints about Legal Services should both you and our company wish to use such a scheme. We would give consideration to use Ombudsman Services if requested by you.
Changes in Timescales:
If we have to change our timescales above, we will let you know and explain the reasons.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
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 raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority link to (http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page).