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Customer service is fundamental to everything we do...
We know that engaging with the legal system can be daunting, and we strive to make the process as easy for you as possible. We always hope that your experience with Gordons Solicitors Ltd is a good one, but we understand that sometimes things don't always go the way you would like. This document outlines our policy for dealing with customer issues and handling service complaints. We are committed to making this process as fair and transparent as possible in order to provide a satisfactory resolution.
At the start of your case
At the outset of the case you will be given the name and contact details of the person dealing with your case, along with the details of their supervisor.
Initial Complaint Handling
- In the first instance you should raise any dissatisfaction with the person dealing with your matter.
- If they are unable to resolve the issue for you or you are uncomfortable raising it with them you can put your complaint in writing to the firms Client Care Director, Keith Gordon, who is the senior Director at the firm, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will acknowledge your complaint within (7) working days of us receiving your complaint.
- We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Mr Gordon. He will review your matter and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
- Mr Gordon will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and, it is hoped, to resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within three days of the meeting, Mr Gordon will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Mr Gordon will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will review your comments. Depending on the matter we may at this stage arrange for another Director to review the decision.
- We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons, this will be our final complaints letter.
Referral to the Legal Ombudsman ("LeO")
If we are unable to resolve the complaint with you then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates problems about poor service from lawyers.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and
- No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.
Call 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Who can Complain
A complainant to the Legal Ombudsman must be one of the following:
(a) An individual;
(b) A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
(c) A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
(d) A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;
(e) A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or a personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you do not fall into any of these categories, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
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.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative complaints bodies (such as ProMediate, www.promediate.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
Please note that we do not agree to use ProMediate
We seek at all times to give our clients the best possible service. Your service issue or complaint will be recorded on our central register and will be used to improve our service to our clients by identifying the cause of any problems and correcting unsatisfactory procedures. Please be assured that we very much value both your business and your feedback.
The role of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in our complaints handling procedure
The SRA regulate legal firms to ensure they comply with SRA Principles. Where there is a failure to comply with Principles the SRA take into account the risk posed to the public and consumers to help them decide how best to ensure they are protected. Where the risk posed is serious the SRA can take formal enforcement action such as limiting or restricting the way they work. In every serious case the SRA can close a firm or ensure an individual is unable to practice in the future. The SRA have extensive powers however they do not have the power to resolve complaints about poor service. Neither can the SRA require a law firm to compensate you.
If you wish to make a report to the SRA about the professional conduct of a solicitor or regulatory concerns about a person or firm regulated by the SRA you will need to file a report with supporting documents by email to email@example.com or post to Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN.
You will be required to provide evidence to support your allegations.