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1.         We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service
2.         We acknowledge that we may not always get it right, so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to our charges, we need you to tell us. This will help us to improve our standards of service.
3.         How do I make a complaint?
3.1       You can contact us in writing (by letter, fax or email) setting out your concerns.
3.2       In the first instance, you need to contact the person dealing with your matter, who will do their best to resolve your concerns. If you do not feel able to discuss your concerns with them please contact the person responsible for the overall supervision of your matter, who will be named in the client care letter we sent you at the beginning of your matter.
3.3       To help us to understand your complaint and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:
             3.3.1   your full name and contact details;
             3.3.2   what you think we have got wrong;
             3.3.3   how you would like your complaint to be resolved; and
             3.3.4   your file reference number (if you have it).
4.         How will you deal with my complaint?
4.1       The fee earner dealing with your file will review your complaint.
4.2       We will write to you within 14 working days acknowledging your complaint, enclosing a copy of this policy.
4.3       We will investigate your complaint. This will usually involve:
             4.3.1   reviewing your complaint;
             4.3.2.  reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documents; and
4.4       We may also need to ask you for further information or documents. If so, we will ask you to provide the information within a specific period of time.
4.5       We will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.
4.6       We will write to you at the end of our investigation to tell you what we have done and what we propose to do to resolve your complaint. Where possible we will aim to do this within 28 days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement.
5.         What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?
5.1       If you are unhappy with the outcome of the review by the fee earner, please let us know and a partner will review the matter.
5.2       The partner will liaise with the fee earner and contact you when this has been concluded.
             Please note, the review by the partner will be ensuring the appropriate process has been followed by the fee earner.
5.3       If we have not resolved your complaint within 8 weeks you may be able to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. This applies if you are an individual, a business with fewer than 10 employees and turnover or assets not exceeding a certain threshold, a charity or trust with a net income of less than £1m, or if you fall within certain other categories (you can find out more from the Legal Ombudsman).
5.4       The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are:
             5.4.1   by post at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ;
             5.4.2   by telephone: 0300 555 0333;
             5.4.3   by email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk; or
             5.4.4   website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
5.5       Normally you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint, or within 6 years of the act or omission you are complaining about (or if outside of this period, within 3 years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). Generally, the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints relating to acts or omissions that happened after 5 October 2010. Further details are available on the website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
5.6       If we are unable to resolve your complaint and it relates to a contract we entered into online or by other electronic means, you may also be able to submit your complaint to an approved alternative dispute resolution provider in the UK via the EU ‘ODR platform’.
             5.6.1   The ODR platform is an interactive website offering a single point of entry for disputes between consumers and traders relating to online contracts. The ODR platform is available to consumer clients only, i.e. where you have instructed us for purposes outside your trade, business, craft or profession.
             5.6.2   The website address for the ODR platform is: http://ec.europa.eu/odr
6.         What will it cost?
6.1       We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
6.2       Please note that if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding. This is explained in our Terms of Business.
6.3       Any outstanding invoices are still required to be settled in full, even if a complaint is made to the Legal Ombudsman.  The following is a quote from the Legal Ombudsman website.
             “We understand that if you are unhappy with the service you have received, you may not want to pay all or part of your service provider’s bill.
             However, it is important to understand that your service provider may take court action against you to recover their fees and any investigation into your complaint by us does not prevent this.”
6.3       The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.
6.4       The ODR platform itself is free to use, but the ADR entity to which the complaint is transmitted may charge for its service. The ADR entity is responsible for informing all parties of the cost of its dispute resolution procedure.