We hope that when dealing with our firm you do not experience any problems. If you do feel unhappy with the standard of service and wish to make a complaint, we adopt the following procedure to enable us to deal with your complaint as quickly and efficiently as possible:
You should first raise any concerns with the person dealing with your matter. If the matter cannot be resolved, your concerns shall be reported to the firms Practice Manager.
The Practice Manager shall acknowledge you have raised concerns and shall contact you, to discuss your complaint and try to identify what we can do to resolve your concerns. The Practice Manager will also provide you with a copy of this procedure.
The Practice Manager will thereafter, under the supervision of the Complaints Director, liaise with the person dealing with your matter about the concerns raised and make an independent investigation to see if we have failed to meet the standard of service.
It may at times be necessary for the Practice Manager to contact you and arrange to meet with you to discuss matters.
The Practice Manager will thereafter provide a response to your concerns within 10 working days of you letting the firm know of your complaint. If further time is required to provide such a response, the Practice Manager shall inform you as soon as practicable. This written response will include:
- Details of your concerns
- Suggestion of what action, if necessary, is to be taken to remedy your concerns
If you are dissatisfied with the conclusion of the complaint and/or proposed resolution, your complaint will be referred to the firms Complaints Director, John Davies, who will review all matters and contact you to discuss the matter further, again within 10 working days.
If at the conclusion of our investigations and considerations of your complaint, regardless of the outcome, you will still have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman has given a maximum of 8 weeks for all legal firms to resolve a client’s complaint. This means that once the 8 week period has elapsed the Ombudsman will normally accept a client’s complaint for investigation even if the legal firm is yet to fully deal with the complaint. The Ombudsman will investigate in particular whether the complaining client has been treated impartially and without discrimination or prejudice and whether the complaint was reviewed by someone not involved in the matter where reasonably possible. The Ombudsman will look at the outcome of the complaint and whether the legal firm has offered an apology and/or given an explanation about what (if anything) went wrong and will also look at any offer of redress to the client and whether that offer is proportionate taking into account the nature of the complaint and any upset and inconvenience resulting from the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent organisation with official powers to resolve the complaint.
If you wish to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman after we have dealt with it then please let us know and we will tell you how you can obtain the complaint form which you will need to complete and then send to the Legal Ombudsman. The address of the Legal Ombudsman is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ and the telephone number is 0300 555 0333.
The email enquiry address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and the website address is www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
In order to be able to apply to the Legal Ombudsman for assistance, you must fulfil all of the following three criterion:-
- The problem, or when you found out about it, must have occurred after 5th October 2010; and
- Your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman falls within either:
a. 6 years of the problem occurring; or
b. 3 years of you finding out about the problem; and
- You are complaining to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the date of the last correspondence you received from this firm
There are certified providers of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes for disputes of this type. A list of ADR approved bodies can be found at www.tradingstandards.uk. However, as complaints against solicitors can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman we will not engage with any other ADR scheme.
Our Practice Manager can be contacted on:
Name Leanne Hayward
Telephone 01565 755088
Post Gladstones Solicitors
High Legh Golf Club
Please note that the firms’ Complaints Procedure is for the benefit of Clients of this firm.