Complaints
Policy & Procedure

As a firm we are committed to providing the highest professional legal service to all our clients. Consequently, it is essential if something goes wrong or any client believes they have reason to complain that we have an effective procedure to resolve issues as quickly as possible. As we strive to maintain the highest standards we set ourselves we seek continuous improvement by listening to and learning from our clients’ experiences. 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 here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

Procedure

Although not essential, in making your complaint it would be helpful to us if you could provide details of your concerns in writing (if you have not already done so). Your complaint should be addressed to the Complaints Partner Mike Pilkington who will deal with your complaint as set out below and who will retain overall responsibility for the handling of your complaint:

  1. The Complaints Partner will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, set out our understanding of it and request your confirmation or seek any necessary clarification.

Timescale: Within 2 working days of receipt of complaint.

  1. The complaint will be registered in our Central Register (for monitoring and management information purposes) and a separate file opened.

Timescale: Within 2 working days of receipt of complaint.

  1. We will acknowledge receipt of your confirmation letter or telephone call and confirm what will happen.

Timescale: Within 3 working days.

  1. We will then commence investigating your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps:
  • the person who acted for you will be asked to provide a response to your complaint within 5 working days
  • the response will then be examined together with the file and your complaint and, if necessary, further information will be sought from the person who acted for you.

Timescale:  Within 5-10 working days of receipt of the response and file (depending on the size and complexity of the matter and the nature of the complaint).

  1. We will then write to you with a detailed response to your complaint and with any suggestions we have for resolving it.

Timescale: Within 5 working days of commencement of investigation

Further Review

  1. When the process described above has been completed you are entitled to a further review by written application to the Complaints Partner within 7 days of the decision being notified to you. The 7 day period will commence when at a meeting or in writing you indicate that you remain dissatisfied with the position.

Arrangements for this final review will be made by the Complaints Partner who will allocate the review to be dealt with by either:

  • initially the Complaints Assessor reviewing their own handling of your complaint and why you are dissatisfied with the decision.

Timescale: Within 5 working days of the meeting or response.

  • by arranging for someone else or a small number of people in the firm who are entirely unconnected with the complaint to review the complaint, the response, the file and any other relevant information, how the complaint was handled and the decision reached.

Timescale: Within 10 working days.

  • by asking another local firm of solicitors or the Liverpool Law Society to review our handling of, and the decision, on your complaint (if they are willing to do this).

Timescale: Within 5 working days, (subject to their availability).

or, in certain cases,

  • by inviting you to agree to a process of formal mediation through an independent mediator or other form of non-judicial dispute settlement.

Timescale: to be notified as appropriate.

We anticipate that in most cases the final review should be completed within 5-10 days of your request to the Complaints Manager.

  1. From the above procedure you will see that we will invest a significant amount of time in seeking to resolve your complaint.

In some circumstances it may not be possible to reach a conclusion which you feel is satisfactory.

Once we have followed our internal procedures in the ways described, you may be able to refer an unresolved complaint to the Legal Ombudsman whose address is PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. They can be contacted on telephone number 0300 5550333 and their web address is www.legalombudsman.org.uk. They will only usually involve themselves in complaints once a solicitor’s internal procedure has been fully exhausted. The time limit for you to complain to the Legal Ombudsman is 12 months from the conclusion of our complaints procedure. We will remind you of this information at the end of our complaints procedure.

Timescales

We will notify you in writing should changes to the quoted timescales be necessary and provide you with an explanation for any change. This will, save in exceptional circumstances, only be where third parties outside the firm are involved in a review process.

 

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