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Complaints Policy

SMITH & GRAHAM SOLICITORS COMPLAINTS POLICY

 

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to improve our standards.

 

If you have a complaint, please contact Mr Andrew Blair our Client Care Partner. You can write to him at: Smith & Graham Solicitors, 1st Floor Tranquility House, Harbour Walk, Hartlepool, TS24 0UX

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

 

Receipt of complaint

As soon as we receive your complaint, Mr Blair will record your complaint on the firm’s central register.

Mr Blair will pass your complaint for comment to the Head of Department in charge of the department involved in your complaint.

 

Acknowledgement of complaint

Within 7 days of receipt of your complaint, we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.

 

Investigation of complaint

We may ask you to confirm or further explain in writing the details of your complaint. We will acknowledge receipt of your letter within 14 working days of the receipt.

Investigation of your complaint may involve one or more of the following steps:

  • We may ask the member of staff who acted for you to provide the person handling your complaint with further information within 10 working days.

  • This will be considered along with any other information on your matter file by the person handling your complaint. The person handling your complaint may ask for further information and details from the person who acted for you. This exercise of investigation will be handled as quickly as possible and may take up to 28 working days from receipt of the first reply from the person who acted for you.

  • We may invite you to meet with the person handling your complaint to discuss and to hopefully resolve that complaint. If you do not want a meeting or that is not possible, we will try to discuss matters with you on the telephone.

  • We will endeavour therefore to respond to your complaint in writing within 42 working days of the receipt of your complaint or the receipt of your further letter of confirmation or explanation. Our letter will seek to resolve your complaint

If we can resolve your complaint

Once we have resolved your complaint to your satisfaction, we will write to you within 7 working days of any meeting or discussion with you to confirm what has taken place and what was discussed and any solutions which we have agreed with you.

If we cannot resolve your complaint

If after we have met with you, or if we have discussed matters with you on the telephone, or we have written to you in answer to your complaint you still feel that you are not satisfied you can write to us again. We will then arrange to review our decision and the result of the investigation into your complaint. 

 

This will happen in one of the following ways.

  • The person handling your complaint will review the decision within 7 working days or;

  • We will arrange for someone else in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review that complaint, the handling of that complaint and the result. This person will deal with this aspect of the matter within 10 working days or;

  • Our Client Care Partner will review your complaint within 10 working days

We will let you know the result of the review within 7 working days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining to you our reasons.

 

If we are unable to resolve your complaint, then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman which investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers. The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.

 

Contact details

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6167
Slough
SL1 0EH

Website - www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Tel - 0300 555 0333    Minicom: 0300 5551777
E-mail - enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

If we have to change any of the time scales referred to in this procedure, we will let you know and explain to you why.

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