Blakewater Solicitors aim is to deliver quality legal advice with a personal service at a fair cost.
We recognise that sometimes situations may arise where clients may not be satisfied with the service provided. In such circumstances we have a complaints procedure in place to ensure that any issues are rectified at soon as possible.
Any complaint raised will be assessed independently and will provide us with an opportunity to improve our services to all our clients. We will try to resolve the matter fairly and efficiently. We will apologise if we are at fault and will do our best to offer a suitable solution.
We work on the basis that you should be able to talk to the person handling your matter about anything and therefore some complaints of a minor nature could be resolved by a simple phone call with your advisor. The advisor will make a note of the details of your concerns and what you would like to be done about it. He or she will discuss your concerns with you and will aim to resolve them.
If the matter is resolved during the telephone call then the advisor will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the result and record that you are satisfied with the solution.
If your complaint is not resolved on the telephone with the advisor, or the complaint is substantial or complicated or you feel that you cannot speak to the advisor you are complaining about directly, then we ask that that you contact Mr Abdul Hafeez Darr one of the Directors of the firm and the complaints manager on 01254 261515 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org, with details of the complaint. If Mr Darr is unavailable, then his appointed colleague who has not been involved in your matter will deal with the complaint on his behalf.
- When you write/ telephone us or request a stage 2 review, we will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your request within 5 working days of receiving it, enclosing a further copy of this procedure. This is known as the acknowledgment letter.
- The Complaints Manager will investigate your complaint and the action taken to date.
- The Complaints Manager will then contact you to invite you to a meeting or a telephone conference to discuss and hopefully resolve the complaint. The Complaints Manager will do this within 7 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter.
- Following the review at 3 above, The Complaints Manager will write to you, within 5 days, to confirm what took place and any resolutions agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or a meeting is not possible, The Complaints Manager will send you a written reply to your complaint, including suggestions for resolving the matter, within 7 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter.
If you are dissatisfied with the resolution at stage 2, you should contact us within 7 days of receiving our response to Stage 2. At this point we can either arrange for a Director, not involved with your matter, to review the complaint as a stage 3 review and the decisions taken to date or, in the alternative, we can decide to waive this stage and declare the internal procedure complete.
We will write to you within 7 days of receiving your request for a Stage 3 review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
Stage 4 – Legal Ombudsman
If you remain dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (an independent body that handles complaints about legal services) at the details below.
The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone 0300 555 0333, email email@example.com.
It is important that you contact us in the first instance to resolve the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman may not consider your complaint if you have not given us sufficient opportunity to resolve your complaint (we have a total of 8 weeks within which to conclude your complaint). The Legal Ombudsman normally only becomes involved once our internal complaints procedure has been completed and you are still not happy with the result.
Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of the date of our final written response on your complaint but for further information, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman directly.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
For complaints about our fees, please note there are special rules about your right to apply for a remuneration certificate. You have either one month from the date of the bill to apply in writing where the information appears on the back of our bill, or where you have not been told of your right to apply for a certificate, 3 months from the date of the bill.
Please note that all conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will only be disclosed to the extent that is necessary. For example, the SRA is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when carrying out its auditing and monitoring functions.
As part of our commitment to client care we may make a written record of any complaint and retain all documents and correspondence generated by a complaint for a period of six years. Our Practice Manager will inspect the record regularly with a view to improving services.