What to do if you have a complaint
We aim to provide a consistently high level of service. However, if you do have any complaints or concerns about our service, we will try our best to sort out the problem and put things right for you as quickly and effectively as possible. We believe that a well handled complaint is an opportunity to restore and even improve goodwill as well as to provide an even better service in future. To that end, we have established the following procedure for handling complaints.
As a first step, we recommend that you raise the complaint informally with the person handling your work on a day to day basis, or, if you prefer, either with the partner in charge of the department in which that person works or with the partner with whom you have the closest links. The partners in charge of each department are as follows:
- Property: Robin Illingworth
- Private Client: Christopher Walker
- Dispute Resolution: Andrew Pawlik
- Corporate & Commercial: Matthew Searle
- Employment: Samantha Davis
If you have any doubt about who is the partner in charge of the department, please ask the person handling your work.
The person to whom you make the informal complaint will try to resolve it to your satisfaction as quickly as possible and will in any event keep any correspondence with you and a written record of any conversations with you on the file relating to the matter complained about.
If the informal complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, we ask you to summarise the complaint in a written letter to the firm’s senior partner, Robin Illingworth whose address is Trinity House, School Hill, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2NN.
The senior partner will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 48 hours of its arrival, sending you a copy of this procedure and telling you within what timescale (not exceeding three weeks) you will be given a written response to the complaint.
The senior partner will review your complaint and the file of the person handling the matter complained about thoroughly and fairly. Within the time mentioned above, he will write to you with a full response to your complaint, explaining whether or not in his view the complaint was justified, and why.
Where he considers that the complaint is justified, the senior partner will give you an apology together with an explanation of the action we propose to take to put right the matter complained about.
We will not charge you for any time we spend in handling your complaint.
A record of all complaints received by the senior partner will be kept in a separate file by the firm’s Practice Manager, Duncan Smith, who will ensure that complaints are reviewed periodically by the partners in the firm, to make sure that any deficiencies in our service standards and in our systems are remedied.
If you are dissatisfied with the senior partner’s review and written response to your complaint, or if for any reason your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks of the making of your initial informal complaint, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman:
- by post to Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or
- by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or
- by phone to 0300 555 0333 (if you are calling from overseas, call +44 121 245 3050).
You can view the Ombudsman’s website generally on www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
Overall, the Ombudsman does expect you to make your complaint to him within a year of when you first realised there was a concern and within six months of your last contact with us after making the complaint (whichever is the earlier).