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Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service and to dealing with all our clients fairly. If you are unhappy or concerned about any aspect of our service or charges we need you to tell us.

How do I make a complaint?

  • In the first instance, please raise any concerns or complaints with the person dealing with your matter or the partner supervising your matter.
  • If you do not feel able to raise your concerns with either of these people, or you are not satisfied with their response, please contact Craig Hardman (our Client Care Partner) whose contact details are:
  • To help us to understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:
    • your full name and contact details
    • what you think we have got wrong
    • how you would like your complaint to be resolved; and
    • your file reference number (if you have it)
  • If you require any help in making your complaint we will try to help you.

How will you deal with my complaint?

  • We will record your complaint centrally.
  • We will aim to acknowledge your complaint in writing within 7 days, enclosing a copy of this policy.
  • We will investigate your complaint. This will usually involve:
    • reviewing your complaint
    • reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documents, and
    • liaising with the person who dealt with your matter
  • We may also need to ask you for further information or documents. If so, we will ask you to provide the information within a specific period of time.
  • We may also, if appropriate, invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint. You do not have to attend if you do not wish to or if you are unable to. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you on the telephone.
  • We will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.
  • We will write to you at the end of our investigation to tell you what we have done and what we propose to do to resolve your complaint. We will aim to do this within 28 days of the date of our written acknowledgment of your complaint or our meeting with you whichever is later.

What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?

  • If we have been unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction within 8 weeks you may be able to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. This applies if you are an individual, a business with fewer than 10 employees and turnover or assets not exceeding a certain threshold, a charity or trust with a net income of less than £1m, or if you fall within certain other categories (you can find out more from the Legal Ombudsman).
  • You can contact the Legal Ombudsman:
    • by post: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
    • by telephone: 0300 555 0333 – 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, or
    • by email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
  • You can find out more details about the Legal Ombudsman at 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, and within six years of the act or omission you are complaining about (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). Generally, the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints relating to acts or omissions that happened after 5 October 2010. Further details are available on the website: legalombudsman.org.uk
  • Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme, eg ProMediate (UK) Limited (http://www.promediate.co.uk). We have, however, chosen not to adopt an ADR process. Therefore, if we have been unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction within 8 weeks and you wish to complain further you should contact the Legal Ombudsman.
  • If we are unable to resolve your complaint, and it relates to a contract we entered into online or by other electronic means, you may also be able to submit your complaint to an approved alternative dispute resolution provider in the UK via the EU ‘ODR platform’.
    • The ODR platform is an interactive website offering a single point of entry for disputes between consumers and traders relating to online contracts. The ODR platform is available to consumer clients only, ie where you have instructed us for purposes outside your trade, business, craft or profession.
    • The website address for the ODR platform is: http://ec.europa.eu/odr
    • Our email address for these purposes is mail@steeleraymond.co.uk

What will it cost?

  • We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
  • Please note that if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter, and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding. This is explained in our Terms of Business.
  • The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.
  • The ODR platform itself is free to use, but the ADR entity to which the complaint is transmitted may charge for its service. The ADR entity is responsible for informing all parties of the cost of its dispute resolution procedure.

 

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