Our complaints policy tells you how we will deal with your complaint and how long it is likely to take. It also provides important information about what you can do if you are not happy with the way in which we are dealing with your complaint, or about our final decision.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case. 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.
Designated Complaints Handler
If you have a complaint about our service, work or our charges, please contact Ryan Millmore, our client care partner. You can write to him at:
Elizabeth House -13-19 Queen Street, Leeds, LS1 2TW
Our compliance manager assists the client care partner with day-to-day handling of complaints received.
What will happen next
You will receive a letter acknowledging your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within one working day of receiving your complaint. If we need any further clarification about the issues you have raised in your letter, we will ask for further details at this stage.
We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will do this within three working days of receiving your complaint.
We will then start to investigate your complaint. We may not be able to fully investigate your complaint until you have provided us with any information or documents requested. Investigating your complaint may involve one or more of the following steps:
- we may speak to the member of staff who acted for you to discuss your complaint;
- we may examine your file of papers. We then may ask them or you for more information.
We anticipate that these two steps will take up to fourteen days from receipt of the complaint.
We will invite you to speak to or meet with the person dealing with your complaint and it is hoped to resolve the complaint. We will do this within seven days of receiving all the details we need from you or the member of staff who acted for you
Within three working days of the meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions that we have agreed with you. If you didn’t want a meeting or it is not possible, we will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include confirmation of our position on your complaint, an explanation of our reasons and our suggestions for resolving the matter. This will happen within five days of us completing the investigation.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome, please let us know and the client care partner will review the decision. We will let you know the result of the review within seven days of receiving your appeal
If you are still not satisfied you can contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint, provided you do so within six months of receiving 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. Ordinarily, you cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless you have first attempted to resolve your complaint using our internal procedure, but you will be able to contact the Legal Ombudsman if:
- The complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks of first making the complaint to us; or
- The Legal Ombudsman decides that there are exceptional reasons why the Legal Ombudsman should consider your complaint sooner, or without you having to use our internal complaints handling procedure first; or
- The Legal Ombudsman considers that your complaint cannot be resolved using our internal complaints handling procedure because the relationship between you and us has broken down irretrievably
If you wish to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must be one of the following:
- An individual;
- A micro enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
- A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million;
- Or a personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our complaints handling procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the courts.
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or by telephone on 0300 555 0333 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information about the role of the Legal Ombudsman, please see their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
If your complaint relates to charges or expenses contained in an invoice we have asked you to pay, you may also be entitled to apply to a court under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974 to ask the court to assess the reasonableness of any charges and expenses contained in such invoice. If all or part of an invoice remains unpaid we may be entitled to charge interest.