Our Complaints Policy

 

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to our clients.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to improve our standards.  A copy of this document will be supplied to any person who indicates a wish to record a formal complaint.

 

Our Complaints Procedure

 

If you have a complaint or feel unhappy with our services, we hope that you will first discuss the matter with the person dealing with your case.  In the event that you remain dissatisfied and wish to make a formal complaint, please contact our Complaints Manager who is in charge of “Client Care”. You can email him at richard.gabb@clarkeslaw.co.uk or phone him on 01952 223 548 or write to him at our Wellington office:-

CLARKES LLP, 7 Landau Court, Tan Bank, Wellington, Shropshire TF1 1HE

 

What will happen next?

  1. The Complaints Manager will write to you to acknowledge your complaint and to ask you to confirm or explain any specific details. You will be informed of the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.  You can expect to receive a written acknowledgement from the Complaints Manager within two days of receiving your email, letter or call.
  1. We will record your complaint in our Central Register and open a file for your complaint. We will do this immediately we receive your email, letter or call.
  1. The Complaints Manager will refer your complaint to the relevant Head of Department. We will then start to investigate.  This may involve one or more of the following steps:-
  • We may ask the person who acted for you (“the caseworker”) to reply directly to you within five working days.
  • We may consider the caseworker’s reply and any information in your complaint file. We may then ask the caseworker for more information.  This could take a further five days from receiving the caseworker’s reply, up to a total of ten working days from receipt of your referral.
  • If appropriate, we will invite you to meet the Head of the Department, to discuss and hopefully to resolve your complaint. We will do this within five days of receiving all the necessary details from the caseworker who dealt with your case, up to a total of ten working days from receipt of your referral.  Within five days of that meeting, we will write to confirm what took place, with details of any solutions that we may have agreed with you.
  1. We will always try to deal with your concerns in person or by telephone. In the event however that you do not want a meeting, or if it is impossible to arrange one, we will send you a written reply, identifying your concerns and setting out our suggestions for resolving the matter. We will use email whenever possible.  This will happen within five days of us completing our investigations.
  1. If you are still not satisfied with our written reply, you can contact the Complaints Manager again. We will then arrange to review our decision.  This will happen in one of the following ways:-
  • The relevant Head of Department will review his/her own decision within five days.
  • We may arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review the decision.
  • The Complaints Manager will review your complaint and notify you of his decision.
  • We may ask a representative of the local Law Society to review your complaint and our response to it. We will let you know whom we ask and how long the process is likely to take.
  • We may invite you to agree to independent mediation. Again, we will let you know whom we ask, how long the process is likely to take and how much it will cost.
  1. We will let you know the result of the review promptly (usually within five working days of receiving your request) and write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

If we have to change any of the time scales above, we will let you know and explain why.

Taking your Complaint further

If you are still not satisfied with the way we have handled your complaint, you can write to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or telephone 0300 555 0333.

Further details of the Legal Ombudsman are on the website www.legalombudsman.org.uk or you can make contact by email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

The Legal Ombudsman stipulates time limits for complaints – you must make contact:

  • within twelve months of the end of the work that we carried out for you OR
  • within twelve months of finding out there was a problem, if later.

If you are at all concerned about meeting the twelve months deadline, we suggest you make contact with the Legal Ombudsman straight away.  Please note that the Ombudsman’s services are, at the present time, available only to individual members of the public and to very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts.