Complaints Handling Policy
We constantly strive to maintain the highest standards of quality in every case that we deal with. On the rare occasion that our clients are dissatisfied with the service they have received from us, we are committed to dealing with any complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively.
Our definition of a complaint is:
“any written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction referred to any person in our organisation by a client”.
It is the policy of our firm that:
- Every complaint made by a client is reported and recorded centrally;
- Every complaint received is responded to appropriately;
- The cause of the problem is identified, appropriate redress is offered, and unsatisfactory procedures are corrected.
We inform clients in writing at the outset of their matter of their right to complain and how complaints can be made.
Where appropriate, we shall ensure that our procedure is tailored in response to the needs of our individual clients, especially those who are vulnerable.
We allow a maximum of eight weeks to consider the complaint. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem within that timeframe, where the complaint has not been settled or dealt with to our client’s satisfaction, we will advise our client again in writing of their right to pass the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, the time frame for doing so and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman.
We report and record every complaint made centrally. All complaints are referred to Julian Richards, in the first instance, who:
- Reviews the matter with any staff member involved;
- Identifies the cause of any problems of which the client has complained
- Determines what degree of validity the complaint has; and
- Decides how the complaint should be resolved.
Julian Richards has overall responsibility for handling complaints and carries out an analysis of the central record of complaints annually. Following this review he decides whether any action can be taken to improve our services.
All members of staff owe a duty of confidentiality to our clients, and this duty starts the moment a client first approaches us (i.e. before we formally accept their instructions) and continues both during and after the end of a case, and even after the death of the client.
All services are provided in a confidential environment. All information provided to us about a client and their case is treated by us as confidential. This means that we do not disclose information about the client’s case unless required or permitted by law, or if our client consents, or unless requested as part of an audit by our regulators or quality assessors.
Equality and Diversity Policy
We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures. This applies to our professional dealings with clients and with others.