Complaints Handling Procedure
Although we aim to provide a quality service which is responsive to our clients’ needs there may be occasions when clients are disappointed in some way with the service provided. This procedure aims to deal with such occasions as quickly and sensitively as possible. The procedure applies to all staff working in the practice.
1. If the client is not happy with how his or her matter has been dealt with he/she should first raise the matter informally with the person who has conduct of that matter. It is hoped that the complaint can be resolved at this stage.
2. If the problem is not resolved at this first stage, it must be referred to managing partner Norman Cheetham for further consideration. The complaint must be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days and the client given an indication of the likely time that it will take to deal with the complaint, which should not normally exceed 3 weeks. If it is likely to take longer than that, the client must be sent a holding letter explaining the reason for the delay. A copy of this procedure must be sent to the client with the acknowledgement.
3. Following an appropriate investigation, a full written response to the client must be sent by Norman Cheetham. The written response must explain that if a client is not satisfied with the response, that they are entitled to complain to the Legal Ombudsman and will explain how they can be contacted.
4. If the complaint relates to Norman Cheetham himself, the matter will be referred by Norman Cheetham to his partner Louise Cheetham who, following an appropriate investigation, will send a full written response to the client. The written response must explain that if a client is not satisfied with the response, that they are entitled to complain to the Legal Ombudsman and will explain how they can be contacted.
5. Details of the problems or complaints raised by a client under this procedure and of any subsequent investigation must be carefully documented.
6. Complaints raised directly with the Legal Ombudsman without going through the procedure described above will be referred to Norman Cheetham by the Legal Ombudsman. Norman Cheetham will then attempt to deal with the matter as in point 3 in consultation with the appropriate member of staff.
7. The outcome of the complaint will be reported to the Legal Ombudsman.
8. At the conclusion of each complaint Norman Cheetham and the appropriate member of staff will review the cause of the complaint in order to try to prevent similar problems happening again.
9. The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted at:
P.O. Box 6806
10. If your concerns are not about the quality of the service we have provided but our behaviour, such as dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age or a disability then you should raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) who can be contacted at
The Cube,199 Wharfside Street,Birmingham,B1 1RN (tel 0370 606 2555).