OUR COMPLAINTS POLICY
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with your bill we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to learn and improve
If you have a complaint please let us know by speaking to the individual with overall responsibility in relation to any particular matter. You will find details of who this is in your Confirmation of Instructions.
If you would prefer to discuss the matter with someone else, you should contact Adrian McClinton, our client care Principal based at St John’s House, 3rd Floor, Haslett Ave West, Crawley, RH10 1HS. Telephone no 0845 070 6000; email address: Adrian.McClinton@emwllp.com.
Your complaint will be looked into carefully and promptly and we will do all we can to explain the position to you. If we have given you a less than satisfactory service, we will do everything reasonable to put it right and, if you are still not satisfied, you may of course take up matters with the Legal Ombudsman who will look at your complaint independently. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within 6 months of receiving a final response to your complaint;
- No more than 6 years from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than 3 years from you should reasonably have known there was cause completion.
The Legal Ombudsman will review complaints made by individuals and organisations within the following categories:
- An individual (a member of the public);
- Beneficiaries and personal representatives of an estate;
- Prospective clients;
- Small businesses employing less than 10 people and an annual turnover or assets of less than €2 million;
- A charity, club or association with an annual turnover or assets of less than £1 million;
- A trustee of a trust that had an asset value of less than £1 million.
What will happen next?
1. We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. If it seems appropriate we will suggest a meeting at this stage. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
2. We will then record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will investigate your complaint by examining the relevant file and speaking to the person with responsibility for the work.
3. If appropriate we will invite you to meet the person dealing with your complaint to discuss and hopefully resolve any issues. We would hope to be in a position to meet with you in this way no longer than 14 days after first receiving your complaint. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreeable timescale, the person dealing with your complaint will write to you setting out his views on the situation and any redress that we would feel to be appropriate.
4. Within two days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions that we have agreed with you. In appropriate cases we could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.
5. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within 10 days.
This will happen in one of the following ways:
- The person dealing with your complaint will review his decision.
- We will arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it.
- Adrian McClinton will review your complaint within 10 days.
- We will ask another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint. We will let you know in writing how long this process will take.
- We will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know in writing how long this process will take.
6. We will let you know the result of the review within five days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
7. If you are still unhappy with the outcome you can contact the Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should usually be made within 6 months of our final decision on your complaint, however further information can be obtained from the Legal Ombudsman by telephoning them on 0300 555 0333 (between 09:00 and 17:00), email at email@example.com or by visiting www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
8. If you have concerns about our conduct, or believe that we may have acted dishonestly, taking or losing your money, or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic, your complaint will need to be referred to our regulator the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
© EMW Law LLP January 2022