The Firm aims to provide the highest standards of service. All clients should be kept informed as to the progress of their matter. It is accepted that facts and events sometimes change; emergencies and unforeseen factors come to light. The key to good client relationships is communication between firm and client.
- Nevertheless circumstances can arise where a client is not happy. Every client should be advised at the start of a matter of their right to raise a complaint. This is included in our Engagement Letter and Terms of Engagement which should be sent to every client when we receive instructions to act.
- If we are managing our communications with the client properly, those handling the matter for the client will be the first aware if a client is not happy with any aspect of our service. Any client expressing unhappiness should be treated politely and with courtesy (we would hope the client would behave in a similar manner).
- In the event of a client expressing any concern, the partner handling the matter and, if different, the client partner must be informed immediately. The client team should address the client’s concern and attempt to resolve it.
- If the concern cannot be resolved by the client team, the client must be advised of his right to make a complaint and the process for doing so. A copy of this policy should be sent to a client who confirms he wishes to make a formal complaint.
- Details of the complaint should be recorded in the Complaints Register.
- The client should be asked to set out his complaint in writing and send it to:
Client Care Partner
Signet Partners LLP
21 Whitefriars Street
or email to: email@example.com.
- Except in exceptional circumstances, the Firm will acknowledge the complaint within 7 days of receipt and at the same time advise the client by when the Firm expects to send a considered response to the client. The Firm has eight weeks to consider the client’s complaint but will normally seek to respond with 2 weeks from receipt of the complaint.
- The Client Care Partner will ask the client team to review the complaint and provide him a written response with supporting documentation and the file, if appropriate. If appropriate he will ask another partner to review the papers.
- Having considered the client’s complaint and the papers presented to him, the Client Care Partner will write to the client setting out his comments, including any suggestions, which it is hoped will resolve the issue.
- The client will be asked to respond with 14 days of receipt of the Client Care Partner’s letter, confirming that he is satisfied or otherwise. If no response is received within 14 days the Firm will consider the matter closed.
- If the client remains unsatisfied he should advise the Client Care Partner who will arrange a suitable appointment to meet with the client and discuss the reasons why the client remains unsatisfied.
- If the discussion does not resolve the matter we may at our discretion invite the client to independent mediation.
- Following the meeting or independent mediation the Client Care Partner will write to the
client summarising the issues and the Firm’s position. This final letter will conclude the Firm’s
review of the complaint. In that letter the client must be advised that if he remains unhappy
he has the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman:
PO Box 6806
By phone: 0300 555 0333
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Normally, the client will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from the Firm about his complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which he is complaining occurring (or if outside this period, within three years of when he should reasonably have been aware of it).