Newmans Solicitors prides itself on providing services of the highest quality to all of its clients. We aim to ensure that any complaints that clients may have are identified and dealt with in accordance with our procedure.
We have an established procedure for dealing with complaints from clients. The procedure has been established so that we can resolve as many problems as possible within our offices and avoid having complaints and problems reported and escalated and also to preserve the goodwill of our clients, even if things have gone wrong.
Our procedure also assists the Firm in identifying the cause of any problem of which the client has complained offering any appropriate redress and correcting any unsatisfactory procedures.
Such complaints must be dealt with sympathetically and quickly. Our reputation depends on this, as it is all part of our high standard of service and incorporates client care.
Clients are notified in our Engagement letter of their right to complain. If the client asks for a copy of our standard procedure, it is at this point forwarded to them in writing.
A documented review of this policy / process will take place annually to verify its effective operation across our Firm.
What is a complaint?
A report by a client that their expectations of what they consider to be a good service have not been met.
A complaint can also be made by a prospective client if we have:
– Unreasonably refused a service to a complainant;
– Persistently or unreasonably offered a service that the complainant does not want.
Making a complaint
In the first instance, you must register the complaint with the person dealing with your matter. Should the person with conduct of your matter be unable to resolve your complaint then you should escalate your complaint to the Client Care Director Saira Babar, by sending her your letter of complaint directly by post. She is responsible for ensuring that complaints are handled effectively and in accordance with this procedure. This procedure will also apply to prospective clients to whom we have refused to provide a service or to whom we have persistently or unreasonably offered an unwanted service but only if the complainant has evidence to show that we did not have reasonable grounds to do so.
Investigating the complaint
(1) We will acknowledge the complaint within ten days of receipt of your letter.
(2) We will conduct a full investigation and an independent review of the matter.
(3) We aim to respond in full within 30 days. However, if the complaint is of a more complex nature we will require more time and we will therefore let the complainant know when they will receive a full response.
(4) We will reply to the complainant usually in writing however if possible (and appropriate) we will sometimes make contact by way of a telephone call to discuss the matter and their grounds of complaint and to tell the complainant our views on the complaint and how we propose to resolve it, hopefully to the complainant’s satisfaction.
The Legal Ombudsman is an independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007 to deal with complaints against Solicitors.
If, despite our best efforts, we are unable to resolve your complaint, you would then be able to escalate your complaint to The Legal Ombudsman. If you wish to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman then you must do so:
- Within 6 months of the date of our final written response to you; and
- Within 1 year of the act/omission which is the subject of your complaint; or
- Within 1 year of you becoming aware of the act/omission giving rise to your complaint
Before it will consider a complaint the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the Firm’s internal Complaints Procedure has been exhausted. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that the Firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further.
The Legal Ombudsman’s address is:
Solicitors Regulation Authority
If you are unhappy about our behaviour as opposed to our service, for instance you think we have been dishonest, taken or lost your money, or have treated you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic, then you may contact our regulatory body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s contact details can be found on their website: www.sra.org.uk