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Complaints procedure

If you are not happy with the service you have received:-

Although we strive for excellence in the service we provide to all our clients there is still the possibility that you may be dissatisfied with our performance. So when something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it so that we can monitor and improve our standards. Our Complaints Procedure is intended to set out our approach to client complaints and to reassure you that these will be dealt with fairly, effectively and swiftly whilst helping us to retain your goodwill and continuing professional relationship with the firm.

What is a complaint?

  • A report by a client that their expectation of what they consider to be a good service has not been met, or
  • A report by a prospective client that we have unreasonably refused a service to them and/or persistently or unreasonably offered a service that they do not want

Our Complaints Procedure

If you have a concern or complaint you should contact the Supervisor of your Case Manager as soon as you become aware of the issue to try and resolve the matter with them. Details of the Supervisor can be found in our initial letter to you. In many cases the Supervisor, together with your Case Manager, will be able to resolve any problem for you immediately, however, it is sometimes necessary for a review to be carried out on your file which may take a little longer. You will be provided with an acknowledgment of when you can expect to receive a response which should be within 10 days. If the issue is not resolved at this point the matter will be referred to the Head of department to carry out an independent investigation of your complaint and provide a response usually within 14 days. Sometimes we may suggest a telephone call if we think it might help to resolve the issues. If our heads of department are unable to meet this timescale you will be contacted again with a revised date on which their investigations are expected to be completed. Our written reply will confirm the outcome of our findings together with our proposed solutions or remedies.

If you remain unhappy at this stage of the procedure your complaint will be escalated further. The person with ultimate responsibility for client care is Julie Flint, the Complaints Manager for the firm. Julie will review your complaint if the people already identified in this process have so far been unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction. She will review all findings of the investigation carried out up to that point and will provide you with her response together with any further suggestions for resolution. You can expect to receive a response usually within 21 days.

If you do not agree with the Complaints Manager’s findings we may ask you to contact us to explain why you remain dissatisfied with our response and we will review your comments further. We will write to you within 14 days advising you of our final position on your complaint and explain the reasons why.

It is important to note that a formal complaint will be handled separately from an ongoing conveyancing transaction. The individuals involved in reviewing your complaint will not be able to assist you in the day-to-day progression of your matter.

The Legal Ombudsman

If at the end of this process you remain unhappy you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. Any complaint should be referred to them:-

  • Within 6 months of receiving a final response from us
  • No more than 6 years from the date of the act/omission
  • No more than 3 years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint

The Legal Ombudsman may investigate:-

  • the quality of professional service supplied by a Solicitor to a client
  • allegations that a Solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct
  • allegations that a Solicitor has unreasonably refused to supply a professional service to a prospective client
  • allegations that a Solicitor has persistently or unreasonably offered a professional service that the client does not want

Please note that the Ombudsman expect Solicitors to try and resolve complaints within 8 weeks of them being raised before you are entitled to refer the matter to them. Of course it is our intention to work with clients to resolve any issues swiftly and satisfactorily. Please note that making a complaint will not affect how we handle your ongoing matter.

Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ; email at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk or by telephone on 0300 555 0333. Their website address is www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Escalation Process and Complaints Manager’s Contact Details Escalation Process

Escalation Process

First Instance  

Supervisor of Case Manager (details of whom can be found in our initial letter)

 

Second Instance

Head of appropriate department or person nominated by the Head of department.

Third and Final Instance  

Complaints Manager (Julie Flint) Julie.flint@onpgroup.co.uk, Telephone: 01782 389822

 

The Solicitors Regulation Authority

The most common complaints about Solicitors are about poor service and should therefore be sent to the Legal Ombudsman. If, however, you consider that your complaint involves a breach of SRA Standards and Regulations (https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations) refer the matter to them. Please note however that the SRA do not have the power to award compensation for poor service or to reduce or refund your legal fees.