This procedure is intended to cover complaints regarding bills rendered by the firm and the conduct by lawyers and other members of staff employed by the firm of legal and related work.
Bramsdon and Childs takes any expression of dissatisfaction about the firm or the services we provide very seriously and aim to ensure that all complaints are handled promptly, fairly and effectively.
How do I make a complaint?
We are sorry that you are considering making a complaint. In the first instance we encourage you to raise concerns directly with your case handler. You would have been advised at the outset of your matter who that person is and also who your client liaison partner is together with contact details for both. It is best if your concerns can be dealt with informally either by telephone or at a meeting. We find this generally the quickest and most effective way to resolve your complaint.
Should this not result in your problem being resolved or if the situation is urgent or there are other exceptional circumstances then you should contact your client liaison partner to formally make your complaint. If your complaint is about the client liaison partner another partner will be appointed to take over this role.
A formal complaint can be made in the following ways:
- By Email- to the client liaison partner using the details on your initial engagement letter.
- By Email to the firm- email@example.com
- In writing- to your local office marking it for the attention of your client liaison partner.
- By Phone- please contact your local office who will request a call back from the client liaison partner.
If for any reason circumstances mean you are unable to provide details of your complaint in writing please contact us to discuss and we can make arrangements to talk through your concerns and confirm them to you in writing if applicable.
What to Expect
The client liaison partner will contact you within 14 days of your complaint being received to acknowledge receipt and confirm our understanding of your complaint and the next steps. This will be in writing or by phone.
The client liaison partner will determine how best to resolve your complaint which may include asking you to set out your complaint in writing. As above if you are not able to do so please discuss this with the client liaison partner.
They may consider that your complaint is best resolved informally, for example by having the case handler concerned telephone you or write to you directly to explain or apologise as may be appropriate.
If an informal resolution appears not to be appropriate or is unsuccessful, the client liaison partner will investigate and will contact you by telephone or in writing to advise you of the outcome of their investigation. In particular they will advise if the complaint is accepted wholly, in part or not accepted and how we propose to remedy it.
This will normally be completed within 28 days of their first contact with you. If the matter is complex or if there is good reason why the investigation cannot be completed within that time, then they will set a different time period giving their reasons for this.
If you are not content with the outcome of their investigation or any delay then your complaint can be passed to the managing partner, or the next senior partner if the complaint is about the managing partner, for review.
The managing partner will write to you with the results of their review within 28 days of the matter being referred to them. They will advise if any further action should be taken.
We aim to complete all of our internal investigations into your complaint within eight weeks. If for some unforeseen reason this is not possible then we will notify you as soon as it becomes apparent and confirm a revised timetable.
Please note- We may determine, based on the nature of your complaint, to deviate from the process outlined above. If we consider this appropriate we will notify you of the revised process.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint within eight weeks then you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman; an independent complaints body who can investigate complaints about the legal service you have received from us. The Legal Ombudsman can investigate complaints:
- Up to one year from the date of the problem happening; or
- Within one year of when you found out about the problem; and
- Within six months of receiving our final response.
The legal Ombudsman details are:
- 0300 555 0333
- PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Alternative complaints bodies such as ADR Group (http://www.adrgroup.co.uk) are available however we do not agree to use these services because we consider that the service offered by the Legal Ombudsman is the most appropriate means of resolving matters between us.
If your complaint relates to a breach of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Standards and Regulations (https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations) and you are not happy with the response following our investigation then you can make a report via the SRA’s website (https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor).