This practice is committed to providing legal services of the utmost professionalism, integrity and service standards that are consistently maintained. This policy is designed to ensure that services are delivered in a reliable and consistent manner and the following quality and client care objectives complied with:-
- provide a professional, approachable and cost-effective service in the fields of residential conveyancing, private client work, family law, commercial property, agriculture, commercial and employment;
- ensure that staff are courteous, professional and behave at all times with the utmost integrity;
- provide full, prompt and clear communications to clients that are fully compliant with the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct and follow confidentiality and data protection best practice;
- utilise information technology to its full potential in order to maximise efficiency and client care;
- resolve client concerns as speedily as possible and develop services in response to feedback received;
- recruit capable, helpful and positive staff and invest in their development and training;
- ensure that premises and facilities are accessible, efficiently managed and comfortable;
- provide a working environment that is safe and secure for all personnel and visitors;
- comply in all respects with the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules;
- provide strategic direction and develop the practice to its full potential;
- ensure that responsibility, authority and the decision-making process within the practice is clear;
- proactively identify risks and implement controls to manage these.
This practice works to and will continue to meet with the requirements of the Law Society’s Practice Management Standards (thereby achieving the Lexcel award), the Legal Aid Agency’s Specialist Quality Mark, the Conveyancing Quality Scheme and we have achieved the ISO 9001/LQS required standard.
We believe sustained quality and excellence is achieved only by continuous improvement and shall strive to improve the service to our clients by means of structured reviews of our practice systems. Annual audits are conducted both by our own compliance team and by independent Law Society approved auditors to ensure that standards are maintained and improved upon. We also proactively seek feedback from our clients to monitor perceptions and to ensure that our services keep pace with constantly changing needs. The feedback is followed up by Partners and is reported to staff.
We attach great importance to the contribution which all partners and staff make to the quality of service provided and to the continuous improvement philosophy. Our decision making encourages a policy of open communication and involvement to generate an innovative environment and to capitalise on useful ideas. Resource and training requirements are regularly reviewed for everyone to ensure that individuals reach their full potential and practice objectives can be achieved.
This policy has been issued to all staff and partners and is available to clients if required.
Client Complaint Procedure
Step 1 – If you are dissatisfied about any aspect of the service provided you should first speak with the legal advisor handling your case. If you prefer to put your concerns in writing, you can do so by sending a letter or an email to the legal advisor who is acting for you.
Step 2 – If the legal advisor who is acting for you is not able to resolve matters to your satisfaction, you can write to or call the Head of Department whose name will have been given to you when you first instructed us. If your complaint is about the Head of Department, please see the separate steps set out below.
Step 3 – If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, please write to, email or call Sarah Butler, the firm’s Complaints Partner, with details as to why you believe your complaint has not been satisfactorily dealt with. Sarah Butler’s details are:
Farnfields, The Square, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4AX, telephone number 01747 825432 or e-mail: email@example.com
If at any stage you would prefer to meet with the person dealing with your complaint then just let us know.
What we will do
Any complaint to the person acting for you, the Head of Department or Complaints Partner will be dealt with as quickly as possible and a genuine effort will be made to respond to your concerns. We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days to let you know that we are looking into your concerns.
After sending you an acknowledgement, we aim to investigate your complaint and give a response within eight weeks but if your complaint is more complex we may require more time, and we will let you know when you will receive a full response.
If our service to you is found to be below standard we will discuss ways in which we can make things better or, if appropriate, recompense you in some way.
After the procedure has been followed if you still remain dissatisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body established under the Legal Services Act 2007, that deals with legal services complaints. Their contact details are 0300 555 0333, firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or through their website www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.
We do recommend that you attempt to resolve your problem using the internal complaints procedure before contacting the Legal Ombudsman.
Alternative complaint bodies – such as Ombudsman Services or ProMediate – also exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our Firm agree to use such a service.
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Whilst our complaints procedure and the Legal Ombudsman will be able to assist in resolving any service complaints you have with us, we also need to make you aware that you can contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the event you think we have breached any of the SRA principles. Should you need to contact the SRA, further details can be found on their website (https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/), as can their contact details should you need more information (https://www.sra.org.uk/home/contact-us/). In almost all circumstances, we would expect to be able to resolve your concerns via our complaints procedure as detailed above.