We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need our clients to tell us about it. This will help improve our standards. Whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problem with the person acting on your case to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you. Often, matters can be quickly resolved in this way.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact us. Cecilia O’Donoghue is the Firm’s Designated Complaints Handling Officer and the person with overall responsibility for complaints. She can be contacted at: email@example.com or by post at Harry Boodhoo & Co Solicitors, 21 Copson Street, Withington, Manchester M20 3HE. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
What will happen next?
- We will send you an acknowledgement of your complaint within 5 working days of receiving the details from you. We will enclose a copy of this procedure.
- We will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve reviewing your file and speaking to the member of staff who is acting upon your behalf.
- We will then invite you to discuss your complaint and hopefully resolve it. We will aim to do this within 21 days of reviewing your file and speaking with the member of staff. If the file is in archive or the staff member is not available, for instance by reason of a holiday or illness, then this timescale will be adjusted to enable those steps to be properly undertaken. If your case involved substantial documentation, court proceedings or if we need more information then this may take longer but we will keep you informed of any changes to timescale.
- Within 5 working days of the discussion with you, we will write to you to confirm what took place and set out any solutions we propose.
- If you do not want to discuss your complaint as in 3 above, then we will provide you with a written response to your complaint including suggestions for resolving the matter within 21 days of completing our investigations.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another partner in the firm to review the decision.
- We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. We hope that this does not become necessary and that we can resolve matters between ourselves. However, contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are as follows:
PO Box 6167
Telephone: 0300 555 0333 – between 9am to 5pm
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 receiving a final response from us 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 cannot deal with all complaints and will only deal with complaints from members of the public, certain very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. The Legal Ombudsman will tell you whether they are able to deal with your complaint.
Alternative dispute resolution
Alternative complaints bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm consent to use such a scheme. In the event that you wish to use an alternative complaint body you should advise us and we will state then if we agree.
Raising concerns with our regulator
The Solicitors Regulation Authority 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 www.sra.org.uk in the “for the public section”
Complaints in relation to bills
Our complaints procedure also applies to complaints arising concerning our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. The Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the court for assessment of that bill.