OUR COMPLAINTS POLICY
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
OUR COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you receive or our fees, please contact:
Highstone House, 165 High Street, Barnet, Herts EN5 5SU
Tel: 020 8441 9999
What will happen next?
- We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Guy Wheatcroft, who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five working days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- Guy Wheatcroft will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. This will be done within ten working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within five working days of the meeting, Guy Wheatcroft will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Guy Wheatcroft will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within ten working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another director or someone unconnected with the matter at the practice to review the decision.
- We will write to you within ten working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
- If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) at:
Tel: 0300 555 0333 or 0121 245 3050
There are time limits within which complaints must be made to the LeO, as indicated below.
Generally speaking, your complaint should be made to the LeO no later than 12 months from when the problem occurred or from when you should reasonably have become aware of the problem. A complaint can be referred to the LeO up to six years from the date of the act or omission or up to three years after discovering a problem.
Additionally, you should make your complaint to the LeO within six months of receiving a final response from us following the complaint that you have made to us. You can also use the LeO service if we have not resolved your complaint within eight weeks of us receiving it.
Normally, your complaint needs to fall inside both rules if the LeO is going to investigate it.
You also need to be aware that the LeO only deals with complaints from the following:
- an enterprise which, at the time that the complaint is made, is a micro-enterprise within the meaning of arts.1, 2(1) and (3) of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, as that Recommendation had effect at the date it was adopted;
- a charity with an annual income net of tax of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
- a club, association or organisation, the affairs of which are managed by its members or a committee or committees of its members, with an annual income net of tax of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
- a trustee of a trust with an asset value of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
- a personal representative of an estate of a person; or
- a beneficiary of an estate of a person.
The LeO deals with service-related complaints; any conduct-related complaints will be referred to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. Further information regarding the LeO can be found on its website http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/.
In addition to the above, if you make a valid claim against us for a loss arising out of work for which we are legally responsible, and we are unable to meet our liability in full, you may be entitled to claim from the Compensation Fund administered by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (from whom details can be obtained).
Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate http://www.promediate.co.uk/what-we-do/what-is-mediation/ exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
In addition, if you are a client and we have made a contract with you by electronic means you may be entitled to use an EU on-line dispute resolution service to assist with any contractual dispute you may have with us. This service can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/odr Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.