As I sit in my new ‘office’, I realise we are entering the third week of our ‘lockdown’. It’s remarkable how the world has changed in such a short space...
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
How do I make a complaint?
The firm operates an escalation process for complaints. The process is shown below:
You should contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns. You can contact us in writing or by telephone. To help us to respond to your concerns promptly please include the following details:
- Your full name and contact details
- Your file reference number
- What you think we have got wrong
- What you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint
If the matter remains unresolved or you wish to escalate your complaint, please raise it with your solicitor’s Line Manager or Head of Department, whose contact details will have been provided when we confirmed instructions to act on your behalf.
If the Head of Department is unable to resolve your issue it will be escalated as a formal complaint to the Complaints Partner. The Head of Department will refer your matter to the Complaints Partner, however, should you wish to make contact directly, you may do so at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can you expect from us?
We will acknowledge all complaints within two working days and provide you with a copy of our complaints procedure.
We will deal with complaints fairly and promptly and update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.
We will investigate the facts fully and write to you at the end of our investigation to tell you what we have done and what we propose to do to resolve your complaint. Where possible, we will aim to do this within 21 days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement.
If your complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved within 8 weeks following the making of a complaint you are entitled to:
- refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman; or
- where a complaint has been brought and our complaints procedure has been exhausted and we cannot settle the complaint; we shall provide you will the name and website address of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approved body which would be competent to deal with the complaint.
We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help with advice if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case. The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. The Legal Ombudsman rules state that we have eight weeks to review complaints. The Legal Ombudsman may begin an investigation after this eight-week period has finished, or once you have sent a final complaint response (if this is within the eight weeks). In exceptional cases the Legal Ombudsman can consider the complaint earlier; for example, if the relationship has broken down or if there is potentially a serious situation developing where it is in the public interest to investigate.
The Legal Ombudsman’s timescales for accepting complaints stipulates that you must refer your complaint within six months of our final written response to your complaint and within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or within three years of you becoming aware of it).
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them directly.
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9W
Review and ownership
Overall responsibility for approving this procedure rests with the Complaints Partner, Nigel Moore.
The Head of Risk and Compliance, Rebecca Barham, is responsible for updating this procedure as necessary to reflect best practice and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to regulatory and statutory obligations.
Individuals working for or on behalf of Buckles are responsible for understanding and following the provisions of this procedure and for reporting any non-compliance to the Compliance Team.
A current version of this document is available on the firm’s intranet and website.
Compliance with this policy will be audited on an annual cycle.