The firm’s complaints procedure is set out in the Letter of Engagement. In the first instance, any complaints should be addressed to the Head of Legal Practice. If this is to be a formal complaint, the Head of Finance and Administration must be informed and the matter may be passed to the Legal Ombudsman.
The following paragraph will be included in all Letters of Engagement
‘If you would like to talk to us about how we could improve our service to you, or if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, please let us know by contacting Graeme Hills. We will consider carefully any complaint you may make about our probate or estate administration work as soon as we receive it and do all we can to resolve it. We will acknowledge your letter within five business days of its receipt and endeavour to deal with it within eight weeks. If we do not deal with your complaint in this time, or if you are unhappy with our response, you may of course take up the matter with the Legal Ombudsman.’ You must include the contact details for the Legal Ombudsman, which are: T 0300 555 0333 Post Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ E firstname.lastname@example.org
At the conclusion of any complaint, the firm will reflect on whether procedures and/ or systems could be introduced or modified to avoid similar complaints arising in the future.
The firm will acknowledge any complaint within five business days. This will be investigated in a fair, prompt, constructive and honest manner. The investigation will be conducted/supervised by the Head of Legal Practice and will be notified to the firm’s professional indemnity insurance provider as soon as practical.
The firm will keep a full record of the way in which the complaint has been handled in a separate complaint file.
If, following an investigation the firm is of the opinion that the complaint is justified in whole or in part, the firm will take appropriate action to resolve the complaint, whether by way of remedial work, apology, providing information, returning books or documents, reduction or repayment of fees, or otherwise.
Once the firm has concluded its investigation of the complaint, it will notify the client in writing of the outcome within 8 weeks and how, if appropriate, it intends to rectify the matter. This may lead to more discussions with the client. The firm will make it clear to the client when it has made its final response and will advise the client of their right to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman.
If the complaint is not resolved within eight weeks of receipt of the complaint, the client will be informed in writing of their right to request that the Legal Ombudsman investigate the matter. This does not prevent the firm from continuing to try to resolve the matter with the client.
The firm will cooperate with the Legal Ombudsman where necessary.
The firm will comply with any decision that the Legal Ombudsman may make and promptly comply with any remedy ordered by the Legal Ombudsman.
The firm will provide ICAEW with such details of complaints as ICAEW may request (whether by writing, visiting the firm’s offices or by any other method) within 20 business days of receiving such a request.