COMPLAINTS HANDLING POLICY
Rayden Solicitors prides itself on its high level of client care. We acknowledge that we may not always get it right, so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to our charges, we encourage you to bring these to our attention so that we can work together in addressing what has gone wrong. This will help us to improve our standards of service.
A complaint is defined as “an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience or other detriment.” You have the right to complain about the service or a bill you have received.
We very much hope that a complaint will not arise however if you feel you have cause for complaint, in the first instance, please contact the solicitor dealing with your matter, who will do their best to resolve your concerns. If you do not feel able to discuss your concerns with the solicitor with day to day conduct of your matter, please contact the person responsible for the overall supervision of your matter, who will be named in the client care letter we sent you at the beginning of your matter, who will try their best to attempt to resolve the complaint on an informal complaint basis, often involving proposals to resolve the complaint.
If you do not feel able to raise your concerns with either of these people, or you are unsatisfied with their response, please set out your concerns formally, preferably in writing, (although we will accept an oral expression of dissatisfaction or oral complaint from you) to our Head of Complaints, Ayishah Khalil, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Ayishah Khalil, Rayden Solicitors, Catherine House, Adelaide Street, St Albans, AL3 5BA.
To help us to understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:
- your full name and contact details;
- what you think we have got wrong including any related and relevant attachments;
- what is the crux of your complaint and the issues that matter the most to you;
- how you would like your complaint to be resolved; and
- your file reference number (if you have it).
Within one week:
We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. You will receive a letter acknowledging your complaint and enclosing a copy of this policy, if you have not received same already. You may be asked to confirm or explain the detail of your complaint. We will also let you know who will be dealing with your complaint.
Within three weeks:
We may also need to ask you for further information or documents, whilst we start to investigate your complaint. If so, we will ask you to provide the information within a specific period of time.
Within eight weeks:
We will investigate your complaint. This will usually involve:
- reviewing your complaint based on the evidence that you have supplied; speaking to you if appropriate or necessary to better understand your complaint and what is important to you
- reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documents; and
- liaising with the solicitor with day to day conduct of your matter as well as other relevant staff members including the supervising partner,
We will try to keep you updated on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times wherever possible.
You will receive a full final written response to your complaint within eight weeks. This will include proposals to resolve the complaint.
If your concerns are not resolved through our Complaints Policy or you have not received a response within 8 weeks of your complaint you may wish to refer your matter to an outside agency, the Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman is an independent and consumer focused ombudsman set up to resolve complaints about lawyers in England and Wales. Further details can be found on their website www.legalombudsman.org.uk. They can also be contacted on 0300 555 0333, in writing to Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or by email to email@example.com.
Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint, or within one year of the act or omission you are complaining about (or if outside of this period, within one year of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). Generally, the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints relating to acts or omissions that happened after 5 October 2010. Further details are available on the website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Details can be found on their website https://www.sra.org.uk/
Alternative Dispute Resolution Schemes
Alternative complaints bodies such as Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
However, we don’t currently agree to use this Alternative Dispute Resolution service in view of the availability of the independent Legal Ombudsman Service established under the Legal Services Act 2007. We are bound by our Regulatory Code to comply with the Legal Ombudsman.
What will it cost?
We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
Please note that if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter, and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding. This is explained in our Terms of Business.
The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.
The ADR entity to which the complaint is transmitted may charge for its service. The ADR entity is responsible for informing all parties of the cost of its dispute resolution procedure.