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We are committed to providing a high-quality service to all our clients. We acknowledge that we may not always get it right, so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to our charges, we need to know. This will help us to improve our standard of service.
How Do I Make A Complaint?
You can contact us in writing (by letter or email) or by telephone.
In the first instance, it may be helpful 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.
If you do not feel able to raise your concerns with either of these people, or you are unsatisfied with their response, please contact Steve Hale, our Quality & Risk Manager, who has the responsibility for investigating and dealing with complaints.
You can contact Steve Hale by:
Post: Novum Law, The Paragon, Counterslip, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6BX
Phone 0333 010 3170
To help us to understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:
- Your full name and contact details
- What you think we have got wrong
- How you would like your complaint to be resolved
- Your file reference number (if you have it)
If you require any help in making your complaint please let us know and we will try to assist you.
How Will You Deal With My Complaint?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint within two working days enclosing a copy of this policy. We may at that stage ask you to confirm or explain any details.
- We will record your complaint on our central register and open a file for your complaint.
- We will at that stage also investigate the complaint by examining the matter file and liaising with the person who dealt with your matter.
- Steve Hale will review, where appropriate, the matter file and decide whether to deal with any service issues or whether the matter will be referred to a Partner or other senior member of the firm. Alternatively, the matter will be referred for review to Bill Brydon, the firm’s Claims Consultant.
- 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.
- We will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.
- We may also if we consider it appropriate, invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint. You do not have to attend if you do not wish to or if you are unable to. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you by telephone.
- We will aim to be in a position to write to you in detail within twenty-one days of our acknowledgement of your complaint to tell you what we have done and what we propose to do to resolve your complaint. However, where that is not possible because, for example, further enquiries need to be made we will write to you to explain the stage the investigation has reached and how soon we expect to be able to provide a full reply. Under the procedures set out by the Legal Ombudsman, there is an overriding time limit of eight weeks for the full conclusion of any complaint.
What If I Am Not Satisfied With The Outcome Of My Complaint?
If you are unhappy with the outcome of our complaints handling procedure, please let us know and we will review the matter.
Conclusion Of Complaint Process
At the conclusion of the complaint and if you are not satisfied with our handling of the complaint in some instances clients also have a right to ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint.
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.
If the Legal Ombudsman is to consider a complaint normally it needs to fall inside 2 time limits both of which need to apply:
- Your complaint should be referred to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.
- Your complaint should be referred to the Legal Ombudsman within six years of the act or omission you are complaining about or, if outside this period, three years from when you should reasonably have become aware of the problem. Generally, the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints relating to acts or omissions that happened after 5 October 2010. Further details are available on their website, legalombudsman.org.uk
Legal Ombudsman Contact Details:
Post P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Phone 0300 555 0333
The Legal Ombudsman is the designated scheme for dealing with legal services complaints. However, we are also obliged to inform you that other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service providers exist, e.g. ProMediate, and offer a consumer complaint resolution service. However, we are not obliged to and do not agree to use this or other ADR providers.
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 be able to submit your complaint to an approved alternative dispute resolution provider in the UK via the EU “ODR platform”.
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.
What To Do If You Are Unhappy With Our Behaviour
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
What Will It Cost?
We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
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.
The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.
The ODR platform 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.
This policy is current as of 28 February 2022.