Complaints procedure

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT OR QUERY

We value our clients and are committed to providing you with both exceptional legal advice and exceptional professional service. However, occasionally an issue may arise that causes you concern. In such cases, we find that resolving the matter as quickly and easily as possible is best, so always feel free to complain if you feel you are not receiving the service that you expected. Our good relationship must be based on mutual trust and understanding; it is only when you tell us about any problems that we can put matters right. We promise that if things go wrong we shall do our best to sort the matter out fairly and quickly.

Please let us know immediately if you are not happy with the professional service you are receiving from us and we will work to rectify matters as soon as possible.

If you wish to make a formal complaint:-

1. A complaint is an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience, or detriment. Therefore, please first tell the person looking after your matter. If he or she is not the Supervisor for your matter, then

2. If you are still unhappy after that, please contact the Supervisor for your matter; then

3. If you are still unhappy after that, please set out your complaint in writing or by e-mail to this Company’s Complaints Officer, Mr. Peter Gwillam (peter.gwillam@countysolicitors.co.uk).

4. Once we have received your complaint, Mr. Gwillam will write to you within 7 days to explain how your complaint will be investigated, if a complete response to your complaint has not been made by that time. You will be told the latest date by which a complete answer will be given to your complaint (this should be not more than 42 days after we received your complaint). If you have made the complaint verbally - either at a meeting or on the telephone - we will set out in our full response our understanding of the nature of your complaint;

5. The assessment of the complaint will be based upon a sufficient and fair investigation. We will explain in writing our findings and where the complaint is upheld will offer remedial action or redress. This will be actioned promptly.

6. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint, please feel free to contact Ms Kerry Pritchard (kerry.pritchard@countysolicitors.co.uk), who will conduct a separate review of your complaint. You will be told about the conclusion of this review within 14 days.

7. If after following the review process you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint, you may contact directly the Legal Ombudsman to ask them to consider the complaint further:

Tel no: 0300 555 0333
Email:enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

Unless it agrees there are good reasons not to do so, the Legal Ombudsman will expect you to allow us to consider and respond to your complaint in accordance with the procedure set out above in the first instance. You can refer your complaint up to 6 months after you have received our final written response to your complaint. You can also use the Ombudsman service if we have not resolved your complaint within 8 weeks of us receiving it. A complaint can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman up to six years from the date of the act or omission or up to 3 years after discovering a problem. The ombudsman deals with service-related complaints; any conduct-related complaints will be referred to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Alternative complaints bodies such as Ombudsman Services www.legalombudsman.org.uk exist to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme