This policy is our stated intention for the assessment, handling and investigation of client complaints.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. In order to ensure our service remains at a high and ever improving standard, we have a procedure through which clients can let us know, for whatever reason, they are not satisfied with the service they have received.
It is our aim to:
- Provide a fair and clear complaints procedure which is straight forward to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
- Ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved satisfactorily for all parties involved.
- Make sure all complaints are investigated fully and in a timely manner.
- Deal with all complaints promptly, respectfully and, where appropriate, confidentially.
- Make sure that everyone at Atkins Dellow knows what to do if a complaint is received.
- Take the appropriate action based on the outcome of our investigation.
- Learn from complaints, use them to improve our service and review our complaints policy and procedure.
Making a complaint.
If you have a complaint please follow these steps to ensure that your concerns are resolved as quickly as possible:
Please speak to the person responsible for your case or put your concerns to them in writing by email or letter. Please don’t hesitate to raise any concerns immediately they arise.
If the person responsible for your case is unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction, or if you prefer not to speak to them about a complaint, please speak with or write to their supervisor whose name will have been given to you when instructions were first given, or to the Partner in charge of their department whose contact details are available on our website.
If you’re not satisfied with the way the supervisor, or the Partner in charge of the department, has handled your complaint, please contact our Client Care Partner who will investigate the matter for you. Our Client Care Partner is currently Nicola Clayton. If the complaint concerns Nicola Clayton it will be handled by Emily Isted or another Partner if appropriate.
Our internal process for dealing with complaints.
We require anyone in the firm who receives a complaint to notify our Client Care Partner. All complaints are recorded in our central register. This usually happens within a working day of anyone receiving a complaint.
All formal complaints received from you in writing will be logged accordingly and when formal complaints are received in person or by telephone, the person receiving the verbal complaint will record the necessary details. We will acknowledge all complaints in writing and within 3 working days.
As part of our internal quality control processes the Client Care Partner shall be notified of and shall review all complaints thoroughly to establish the particulars and seriousness of the complaint. In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue in question, or by their supervisor or the Partner in charge of the department. Wherever possible we aim to resolve any complaint at the very first mention of it, satisfactorily and without delay. If it isn’t possible to achieve an early resolution and the matter is formally referred by you to our Client Care Partner, the process will be dealt with under Stage Two.
The following steps will be taken:
1. The Client Care Partner will fully investigate the complaint internally.
2. The outcome of this investigation will be discussed with the member(s) of staff concerned, supervisor and other Partners, if appropriate.
3. We endeavour to provide a full written response to a formal complaint within 15 working days of receipt, explaining the findings of our investigation and suggesting possible solutions to resolve the complaint, if appropriate.
If, for whatever reason, the investigation will take longer than usual then you will be advised of the timeframe in which you can expect to receive a full response.
4. We will take whatever action (if any) is deemed necessary, as a consequence of our investigation.
5. At this stage, if you remain unsatisfied, we may ask you to specify the reasons for your continued dissatisfaction and, at our discretion, we may review our decision. If we decide to review our decision, we shall inform you in writing and let you know of the result of the review within 10 working days.
6. On our final determination of your complaint, and after any review, we will write to you confirming our final position on the complaint and confirming our reasons.
Still not satisfied?
If you are still dissatisfied you may wish to contact the Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ about your complaint. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of the date of our final decision on your complaint, but for further information you should contact The Legal Ombudsman. Telephone: 0300 555 0333. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternative complaints bodies such as Promediate (http://www.promediate.co.uk/what-we-do/what-is-mediation) exist which may be utilised to deal with complaints about legal services should both parties (you and us) agree to use such a scheme.