Complaints Procedure – Clients
We aim to provide a high quality service for our clients, but if a problem does arise or if you are unhappy about our service or what you have been charged, we want to hear about it.
If you believe that we have got something wrong, have concerns with the way we are dealing with you or are unhappy with an invoice you have received, please do tell us. The sooner you tell us, the sooner we can take steps to put matters right.
Our complaints procedure
You should first discuss the problem with the lawyer dealing with your matter, but if this does not resolve the problem, please contact the Team Leader, whose name is given in the letter sent to you when we agreed to act for you and which you will have received along with our Terms of Business. The Team Leader may delegate the handling of your complaint to a Sub-Team Leader where they consider that it is appropriate to do so.
If at this stage the problem is not resolved please contact Mark Richardson, who is a Partner at our Exeter office and who has overall responsibility for client care; or if Mark is not available, his colleague Mark Smith who is a Partner at our Exeter Office and the deputy client care Partner. Both Mark Richardson and Mark Smith may be contacted at our Exeter Offices at Curzon House, Southernhay West, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1RS Tel 01392 210700.
They may also be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com
What will happen next?
Mark Richardson will within 3 working days send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any further details. We will in most cases deal with your complaints by correspondence, but if it is appropriate we may suggest a meeting at this stage. Mark may also delegate the handling of your complaint to another partner if this is administratively/geographically more convenient or sensible and will notify you who that is.
Mark may discuss with you at the outset the possibility of resolving the problem without following the formal complaints procedure. If matters can be resolved on this basis, the agreed action will be taken and he will either telephone or email you to confirm the action that has been taken. In agreeing to this more informal resolution, you are not agreeing that you will not pursue the complaint on a more formal basis, but we would hope that the matter can be resolved more quickly as a result of this action being taken.
If the matter is not resolved on an informal basis, the following steps will be taken:-
If we do not hear from you within 21 days of our letter setting out our views or of any letter sent after a review or a meeting, we will assume the complaint is resolved and make the appropriate record in the complaints register.
If you are not satisfied by the outcome of our complaints process?
If you are not satisfied with our handling of your problem you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider your complaint. The address is: PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ (Tel. 0300 555 0333). The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org; alternatively the website may be found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk
The time limits for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint are:
However, the Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness was before 6 October 2010.
Furthermore, any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within six months of our written response to the complaint.
If you object to our bill you also have the right to apply to the Court for an assessment of our charges under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
If you have concerns about our behaviour then you can contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for assistance. The SRA can help in circumstances such as where there has been dishonesty, loss of money, or unfair treatment due to a protected characteristic. The address is: The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN (Tel. 0370 606 2555). Their email address is email@example.com.