Whilst we are confident that, as a client, you will be provided with an very efficient and effective service, we also appreciate that issues can arise in any client solicitor relationship. This complaints procedure is intended to ensure your right to complain and to have your complaint with properly and effectively is carried out.
Should you have any concerns about any aspect of the service which you receive from us, including fees, you should raise them with the Solicitor who has conduct of your matter first.
If you are not satisfied with how he or she has handled your complaint, you should raise it with Michael Cummins, Director.
When we receive your complaint we will let you know, within seven days, that we have received it and we will investigate it within 28 days. At this point we will write to you with the results of our investigation.
If after that you are still not satisfied with the way we have handled your complaint you may be able to ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. This applies if you are an individual, a business with less than 10 employees, a charity or trust with a net income of less than £1m, or if you fall within certain other categories (you can find out more from the Legal Ombudsman). You can write to them at:
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or telephone them on 0300 555 0333 and their website is www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
The time limits for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint are six years from the date of the act (or failure to act) or three years from when you should have known about the complaint. You must complain to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of you receiving a final response from us about your complaint.
If we are not able to settle your complaint and it relates to a contract we entered into with you online or by other electronic means, you may be able to send your complaint to a certified alternative dispute resolution (‘ADR’) provider in the UK using the EU ‘ODR platform’. The ODR platform, which is available for disputes in the UK and abroad, is an interactive website for consumers and traders who want to sort out disputes relating to online contracts for goods or services. The website address for the ODR platform is http://ec.europa.eu/odr/.
If you are unhappy with our charges you are entitled to complain about the fees incurred.
There may also be a right to raise objections to our invoice(s) with the Legal Ombudsman or to apply to the court for an assessment of our invoice(s) under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
If you disagree with the amount of any of our interim or final bills, you have a right under the Solicitors Act 1974 to ask the court to assess our bill. You must do so within one month from the date we deliver the bill. If it is after that but before 12 months from the date the bill is delivered, you will have to ask the court’s permission for the bill to be assessed. Unless there are special circumstances, the court will not usually order a bill to be assessed after:·
- 12 months after the bill has been delivered;·
- a judgement has been made to recover the costs under the bill; or·
- the bill has been paid, even if this is within 12 months.
You may also have the right to object to your bill by complaining to the Legal Ombudsman as referred above although the Ombudsman may not deal with your complaint if you have asked the court to assess your bill (again see above).
If you do not pay all or some of our bill, we may be entitled to charge you interest on the unpaid amount under article 5 of the Solicitors' (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009.
If you disagree with our bill for any reason, you must pay the part you do not disagree with within the credit period.