Our Complaints Policy
Freedman Alexander Solicitors is committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. In the event of a problem arising, therefore, we want you to tell us about it. This will allow us to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, help us to improve our standards, and assist in preventing any reoccurrence of the problem.
In the event of a complaint, our intention is that this policy:
• is easy for clients to use and understand, and is responsive to the needs of individual clients
• reassures clients who complain that we will address their concerns without delay, and that we take all complaints seriously
• assists in identifying client dissatisfaction if and when it does arise
• enables complaints to be dealt with promptly and fairly, with decisions based on a sufficient investigation of the circumstances
• ensures that dissatisfaction is addressed and resolved wherever possible
• provides for appropriate remedies, and does not involve any charges to clients
• ensures that a client is provided with all necessary information concerning the handling of a complaint
• enables the Company to learn from experience, so as to lessen the risk of complaints in the future
Our Complaints Manager is David Ware.
If you are dissatisfied with our service, we would ask you firstly to bring the issue to the attention of the person who has conduct of your case.
If your dissatisfaction cannot be resolved at that stage, you should write to our Complaints Manager, David Ware, at 27 – 29 High Street, Ewell, Epsom, KT17 1SB with full details of the issues causing your dissatisfaction. Alternatively, you can send him an email with those details at email@example.com
You do not have to raise your complaint in writing. However, setting out your complaint in writing, either in a letter or an email, may help you to focus on the specific issues causing you dissatisfaction and would assist us in understanding the nature of your complaint and the remedy or remedies you are seeking. It is important for both of us to be clear as to the cause of your concerns and how they might be resolved to your satisfaction.
Once you have formally confirmed your complaint to us, the following process will begin:
1. Your complaint will be acknowledged by post within fourteen working days of receipt. If there are any further details needed to investigate your complaint, you will be requested to provide them, and you may be asked to confirm or explain any points which remain unclear.
2. Your complaint will be recorded in a central register and a separate file for your complaint will be opened. The Complaints Manager will review your complaint, and decide how it will be best investigated. He may decide to delegate the investigation of your complaint and a response to it to another person within Freedman Alexander if it appears to him that to do so would provide a more effective means of resolving your complaint. If he decides upon this course of action, he will notify you who will be investigating your complaint, and why.
3. The person complained of will be asked to provide a detailed response to your complaint within 15 working days of your formal complaint being received.
4. Within five working days of the detailed response being completed, the file and the response will be reviewed and, if necessary, a discussion of the matter held with the person complained of.
5. Within a further five working days, you will be provided either with:
• a written response to your complaint and our proposals for resolving the matter, or
• if it appears appropriate to discuss the findings of the investigation with you personally, an invitation to a meeting to take place within the next ten working days. If such a meeting takes place, we will agree (at the meeting) the timescale with you for any further investigation of your complaint. If you do not wish to participate in such a meeting, you will be sent a written response to your complaint within five working days of your notification to us to that effect.
6. If, having received our final response to your complaint, you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) for investigation.
If any of the timescales described above cannot be met, we will notify you, explain the reason for the delay and provide you with a time-scale for completing any remaining steps.
We are committed to trying to resolve any dispute in an amicable and sensible way and believe that this can be best achieved through a properly conducted dialogue along the lines described above. However, at any time during this process, or if you continue to remain dissatisfied with our handling of your complaint, you may refer your complaint to the LeO.
You should be aware that, under the rules operated by the LeO, your complaint should be brought to the LeO either:
• within 6 years of when whatever it was that caused the complaint took place, or
• (if outside the above 6 year period) within 3 years of when you should reasonably have known about the matter that caused you to complain.
If you are unable to comply with this time limit, the LeO may be unable to investigate your complaint.
You should also be aware that complaints should be brought to the LeO within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint from us.
Both of these time limit rules should be satisfied for LeO to accept your complaint.
If you want to contact the LeO, you should call 0300 555 0333, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. The LeO website address is http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/
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