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Complaints procedure

  1. We are committed to providing high quality legal services. 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. It is always our aim to do so as promptly and efficiently as possible.
  2. In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns. We will do our best to resolve any issues, for instance by agreeing on action points to rectify any concerns. This does not constitute part of our formal complaints procedure.
  3. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can make a formal complaint. When making your formal complaint please give full details of what you are unhappy about. You may not be able to amend your complaint after submitting it, so please ensure all relevant details are provided at this stage. It is normally helpful for everyone concerned if you can put your complaint in writing (either by email or letter), but you do not have to do so.
  4. The person handling your case will refer your complaint to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) who is responsible for the complaints handling process within the firm. Alternatively, you can contact our COLP directly by emailing or telephoning 01242 514000. Either our COLP or the person handling your case will provide you with a copy of this procedure upon receipt of your complaint, or (if earlier) upon becoming aware that you intend to make a formal complaint.
  5. In some instances, even if you have not indicated that you wish to pursue a formal complaint, the person handling your case may ask you whether you would like your concerns to be dealt with as a formal complaint, in which case they will refer the matter to our COLP and you will be provided with a copy of this procedure. It is in everybody’s interests for complaints to be addressed as and when they arise rather than left until the end of our retainer. Consequently we may choose to investigate and respond to a perceived complaint even if you have not expressly indicated that you wish to bring a formal complaint.
  6. Our COLP will acknowledge your complaint in writing as soon as possible after we receive it, and will notify you of the name of the person who will be responsible for the investigation of your complaint. In most cases this will be the partner who is the head of the department that you were dealing with. In some circumstances, for instance if your case was being handled by the head of department in the first place, your complaint may be dealt with by another partner in the firm,  by our compliance department, or by an external complaints handler retained by us.
  7. Our COLP will also record your complaint in our central register.
  8. On receipt of your complaint we may need to request further information or clarification from you about your complaint. If your complaint has not been received in writing, then we will summarise it in writing to you and ask you to confirm that the summary is correct.
  9. The person dealing with your complaint will then investigate the circumstances of your complaint. This may involve speaking with the lawyer involved, and reviewing your file. This will take place within 21 working days after the later of (a) receipt of your complaint, or (b) your providing any further information or clarification of your complaint we have requested, or confirmation that our summary of it is correct.
  10. The person dealing with your complaint will then write to you, with the findings of the investigation and making any proposals for resolution, within 7 working days of completing the review. We would hope to resolve the matter at this stage.
  11. If we decide at this stage that it is not necessary or appropriate to propose any steps to remedy your complaint, then that will be the end of the complaints handling process. However, if we propose steps to remedy your complaint in order to resolve it, then you will be asked to consider that proposal and to provide any further comments on it. If you do provide any further comments on our proposal, these will addressed within 7 working days after they are received.
  12. If we feel it may help, we may, instead of writing to you with the outcome of your complaint, invite you to a meeting to discuss the matter with a view to resolving the complaint. Even if we do not suggest a meeting, you may ask for one yourself.  If there has been a meeting, we will write to you within 5 working days after the meeting to confirm what has taken place and any agreement reached.
  13. We aim to conclude the procedure within 8 weeks from the date of your complaint. If we do not hear from you in response to our writing to you to answer your complaint, we shall assume at the end of that time that you are satisfied with our explanation or proposals to remedy your complaint.
  14. If our response to your complaint is our final response, we will make that clear.
  15. If we have to change any of the time scales above we will let you know and explain why.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

You may contact The Legal Ombudsman if your complaint is regarding our services or your bill and we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves to your satisfaction. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.  The Legal Ombudsman is not able to accept complaints from larger businesses and has the discretion to dismiss complaints in certain circumstances.

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 the time limits for taking your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman are:

  • within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint


  • within one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
  • within one year from the date when you should have realised that there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.


Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 and 17.00.


Post: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH

If we are unable to resolve your complaint within 8 weeks then alternative complaints bodies (such as ADR Group exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services. We are obliged to inform you of this, but we may not agree to use such a scheme.

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

If you are concerned that this firm, or an individual employee or representative of this firm, has acted in a way that is in breach of any of the professional conduct Principles set by our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), you should raise your concerns directly with the SRA.  Details of the Principles and how to contact the SRA can be found here.

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