Complaints handling procedure

We strive to provide the highest standards of service to all our clients and it is our sincere hope that you will be very happy with the service provided. However, if you are not satisfied we have the following procedure in place to try and resolve quickly and amicably, any problems that may arise.

We would suggest that initially you raise your concerns with the person who is dealing with your matter. However, If your concerns cannot be resolved with the person who is dealing with your matter or you feel it is not possible to resolve the matter this way, please contact our Managing Partner Frank Horder, or in his absence our Partner Elaine Guy.  Frank Horder can be reached by email at frank.horder@carterbells.co.uk  or by post if this is more convenient.  His contact number is 020 8939 4005. Elaine Guy can be reached by e-mail at elaine.guy@carterbells.co.uk or her contact number is 020 8939 4009.

Upon receipt of any written complaint, we aim to acknowledge receipt within two working days. If we are not able to deal with the matter immediately, we will give an indication of when we expect to let you have our full response. We would, however, hope to provide the response within 2 weeks but this will depend upon the complexity of your matter and the nature of the complaint. In certain circumstances, we may wish to meet with you to discuss the matter, as this may be a more appropriate way of dealing with your concerns.

As part of our commitment to client care, we will make a written record of any complaint and retain all documents and correspondence generated by the complaint for a period of 6 years. The members of our Management Committee take very seriously all complaints and will, if appropriate, make changes to our procedures to improve the service we provide to our clients.
We will, of course, do all we can to resolve the matter to your satisfaction but if we are unable to do so, then at the conclusion of the complaints process, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.

What happens if you don’t agree with our views on the complaint?
If we are unable to resolve the complaint with you then you can have the complaint independently reviewed by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about poor service from lawyers.

  • Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
  • Within six months of receiving a final response of your complaint; and
    No more than six years from the date of the act and/or omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am – 5pm
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Alternative complaint bodies such as Pro-Mediate (www.promediate.co.uk) are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. There may however be a charge to use the services of such bodies. Further, they can only help mediate and cannot make a decision that, in the absence of an agreement reached between the parties, binds either party. If no agreement is reached between the parties through mediation, then the matter would have to proceed to the Legal Ombudsman in any event. For these reasons we do not recommend using an alternative complaints body and would suggest instead that any complaint that we are unable to resolve between ourselves proceeds direct to the Legal Ombudsman.

If your complaint relates to our charges you may also have the right to object to the bill or invoice by applying to the Court for an assessment under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.


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