Fitzhugh Gates Solicitors Client Complaint Procedures

Policy

We take very seriously all expressions of dissatisfaction from our clients. If you have received this leaflet, it is likely that you have already expressed your concerns verbally or in writing to your lawyer, their Supervisor or the Partner responsible for dealing with complaints, Julian Cioffi. This leaflet explains our procedures for handling complaints to ensure that each complaint is dealt with swiftly in an attempt to reach an amicable and satisfactory solution.

Reporting & Investigation Responsibilities

Informal verbal complaints should be addressed to your lawyer in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with their response, then the matter should be taken up with the Partner responsible for their work. The name of that Partner will have been given in your initial client care letter, but if you are unable to locate this, you can ask your lawyer or a member of our support staff. If the matter cannot be resolved informally with your lawyer, it would assist investigations if you were to fully detail your concerns in writing so there is less room for misunderstanding your concerns and requirements.

Response Times

Written complaints will be acknowledged in within 7 days of receipt whereby the name of the person responsible for handling the complaint will be confirmed. A full reply will be sent as soon as the matter has been investigated and our proposals for dealing with your concerns have been agreed upon. In any case, we will always endeavour to provide a full response within 21 days. If that is not possible, an interim response will be given explaining why it is not possible to meet this deadline, when we expect our investigations to be completed and a response finalised. If you prefer, once we are aware of the nature of your complaint we can seek to resolve it at a face to face meeting.

Costs

We do not charge for handling complaints.

Unresolved Issues

In the unusual event that we are unable to resolve the matter to your satisfaction within eight weeks of your complaint being made, you are able to take the matter up with the Legal Ombudsman or the Solicitors Regulation Authority, depending on the nature of the complaint. The contact details are:

Legal Ombudsman (for issues relating to the quality of service or advice)
PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Telephone No: 0300 555 0333
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SRA (for issues relating to professional misconduct)
The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN
DX 720293 Birmingham 47
Telephone No: 0870 606 2555.

Ordinarily, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. Also, ordinarily the cause of your complaint must have occurred after 5 October 2010, and you must refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than six years from the cause of complaint, or three years from when you should have known that there was cause for complaint. If the problem occurred before that date, you must not have been aware of it before 6 October 2010.

Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate (http://www.promediate.co.uk/what-we-do/what-is-mediation/) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.

In addition, if you are a client and we have made a contract with you by electronic means you may be entitled to use an EU online dispute resolution service to assist with any contractual dispute you may have with us. This service can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/odr . Our email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Management

All complaints (written or verbal) are recorded and logged centrally to enable us to detect recurring problems and trends. As necessary, we will implement corrective action in response to individual complaints and improvement measures to prevent adverse trends and correct recurring problems. In this manner, we aim to constantly improve the service we provide.

 

 

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