This document explains how we will accept, record, investigate and resolve complaints made about our services.
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something appears to be amiss or have gone wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will enable us to address the issue and resolve it with you, as well as help us to improve our standards.
Usually if there is an issue we can deal with it as a concern, sort the matter out to your satisfaction, and go forward providing the level of service you would wish. However if there is more substance or seriousness to your concern, or you expressly say you wish to complain, then we will immediately escalate it to be dealt with in accordance with this procedure.
If we realise you have any concern at any time we will take the initiative and contact you with a view to resolving the issue.
If you have a concern or a complaint, please contact Grace Osewele in writing with full details. Grace Osewele can be contacted at Fleet House, 8-12 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6AL Alternatively, you may at any time contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) directly with regard to your complaint.
The address for the SRA is The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN. www.sra.org.uk
You can also contact the Legal Ombudsman (if the complaint is about poor service, including complaints about fees). This right is available to all individual clients and to some organisational clients.
The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted at: The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Please be aware that the Legal Ombudsman has published certain rules on its website in relation to complaints, including rules as to who can complain, what they can complain about, the time limits within which to complain. If you do wish to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, you must do so within six months of receiving our response and within six years from the date of the act/omission, or three years from when you should have known about the complaint.
How to make a complaint
If it is appropriate for the matter to be dealt with as a complaint rather than a concern it will be dealt with in accordance with our complaints procedure as follows:
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 3 days of receiving it, setting out the issue we believe you wish us to address. With it will be a copy of this procedure.
- Grace Osewele will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve reviewing your file and, where relevant speaking to the member of staff who has conduct of your matter. If it should be that your complaint involves work carried out by Ms Osewele the investigation will be carried out by Mrs Bala Srinivasan who is a partner in the firm.
- Ms Osewele, or Mrs Srinivasan, as appropriate will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. Our aim is to do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. If there are urgent matters that need to be addressed in a shorter time frame we will discuss this with you.
- Within 3 working days of the meeting with you, Ms Osewele, or Mrs Srinivasan, as appropriate will write to you to confirm what took place and any solution that has been agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting, or it is not possible to meet with you, Ms Osewele, or Mrs Srinivasan as appropriate, will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including suggestions for resolving the matter within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- If your complaint is substantiated we will take immediate and appropriate action to put things right dependent upon the circumstances;
a. If your complaint is with regard to the member of staff with conduct of your case we will communicate with you to rectify the issue quickly. This may include providing you with a verbal or written apology. If the matter cannot be resolved with the person with conduct of your case we will assign you to another suitably qualified member of staff where possible with your agreement.
b. If your complaint is in relation to an oversight/error on our part which can be rectified we will take the appropriate action immediately at no cost to you.
c. If your complaint is in relation to our work practices will we seek to improve our service by amending and implementing with immediate effect new procedures that will have a direct effect on how your matter is conducted. This will ensure that the same issue/problem is not repeated.
d. Where the complaint relates to an unnecessary delay caused by a third party we will take steps to rectify the problem as soon as possible. This could involve making a formal complaint on your behalf or sending written correspondence to expedite your matter.
- If you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again with your reasons and we will arrange for an appropriate external solicitor (subject to your agreement) to review the decision.
- We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review.
- If for whatever reason your matter cannot be resolved we will refer you to another suitably qualified solicitor, or to the SRA.
- If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will notify you in writing.
- We will keep details of your complaint in a central register. We will also record details of the complaint, our investigation and our response/resolution of your complaint on your file.
- If you consider taking legal action against us, we confirm we have Professional Indemnity Insurance to meet any relevant claims.