At all times we aim to provide legal services to all our clients which meet or exceed their expectations. However, we also recognise that, as in all businesses, dissatisfaction with the service provided can sometimes arise. We look at all complaints objectively and take a constructive approach to reaching a satisfactory conclusion for all parties involved. If you have any queries, concerns, or problems regarding any aspect of the service we have provided, including concerns about the amount of any invoice, please in the first instance contact Philip Stembridge. If that does not resolve the matter to your satisfaction or if you would prefer not to directly speak to the managing director, then please contact Amanda Stembridge or John Evans.
We would expect to resolve any matter to your satisfaction, but if we do not and you are dissatisfied with the response provided by the firm, then you may make a formal complaint under our written Complaints Procedure. Please write to Philip Stembridge, setting out the details and dates of any problems you have encountered.
Your complaint will be investigated and considered, with a preliminary written response and request for any further information which might be deemed necessary, within 5 working days. One or more of the following steps may then be taken:
- A written statement from the person who handled your matter and about whom the complaint is made
- A request from other staff members who may have information relevant to the complaint
- An invitation to meet with the investigating person, to discuss the issues raised and seek to resolve it.
We will then respond in detail, in writing, within 7 working days of any meeting with the investigating person, or within 21 days if no meeting has been held. Our report will consist of a detailed response to your complaint and proposals as to how we may be able to resolve it amicably. If any of the time periods above cannot be met, we will advise you promptly explaining why and the likely duration, although overall we aim to resolve your complaint within 8 weeks of you notifying us.
A client whose business meets certain criteria, and who is dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint administered under the firm’s Complaints Procedure may be entitled to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman. Further details can be found at the Legal Ombudsman’s website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Ordinarily you would need to contact the Ombudsman within 6 months of our final response to your complaint, and no more than 6 years from the date of the date/act/ omission, or 3 years from the date when you would reasonably have known of the cause for complaint.
If your complaint relates to our fees and charges, you may be entitled to apply to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III Solicitors’ Act 1974, in which case the Ombudsman will not consider your case. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) may help you if you are concerned about our conduct. This could be dishonesty, mishandling client money, discrimination: you can raise any such concerns with the SRA: www.sra.org.uk