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 need you to tell us.  This will help us to improve our standards of service. Any feedback should be sent to Head of Risk and Compliance, Loschinee Reddy at first instance, either by email to lr@raydensolicitors.co.uk or by post to Loschinee Reddy, Rayden Solicitors, The Limes, 32-34 Upper Marlborough Road, St Albans AL1 3UU.

A complaint is defined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority 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 person dealing with your matter, who will do their best to resolve your concerns.  If you do not feel able to discuss your concerns with them, 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 or, alternatively the partner supervising your matter.

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 in writing to our Head of Risk and Compliance, Loschinee Reddy, either by email to lr@raydensolicitors.co.uk or by post to Loschinee Reddy, Rayden Solicitors, The Limes, 32-34 Upper Marlborough Road, St Albans AL1 3UU.

To help us to understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:

  1. your full name and contact details;
  2. what you think we have done wrong including any related and relevant attachments;
  3. how you would like your complaint to be resolved; and
  4. your file reference number (if you have it)

Receipt of a complaint will trigger our complaints handling procedure:

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. 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 will also acknowledge your reply and confirm what will happen next. We will then start to investigate your complaint.

We may also need to ask you for further information of documents.  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:

  1. reviewing your complaint;
  2. reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documents; and
  3. liaising with the person who dealt with your matter.

We will try to keep you updated on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times wherever possible.

As part of the investigation of your complaint, you may be invited to a meeting with the solicitor who acted for you and the supervising partner, if necessary, to try to resolve your concerns. In the event there is a meeting to resolve your concerns, you will receive written confirmation of the outcome of that meeting and any solutions agreed within 5 working days of the meeting.

You will receive a full written response to your complaint within eight weeks. This will include proposals to resolve the complaint.

Review of the Decision:

If you are still not satisfied, you should let the Head of Risk and Compliance know. They will then arrange a review of the complaint. The review may take place in one of the following ways:

  • The Head of Risk and Compliance will review the decision themselves within 14 days.
  • If the Head of Risk and Compliance has investigated the complaint initially, she will arrange for another the Senior Partner, Katherine Rayden, to review the decision within 14 days.
  • The Senior Partner will ask the Law Society or another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint. They will let you know how long this process will take.
  • The Senior Partner will invite you to agree to independent mediation and will let you know how long this will take.

The Head of Risk and Compliance/Senior Partner will write to you within 14 days of receiving a request for a review confirming their final position on your complaint and explaining their reasons.

Legal Ombudsman

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 enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.

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 six years of the act or omission you are complaining about (or if outside of this period, within three years 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. 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.

Contracts entered into Online

If we are unable to resolve your complaint which relates to a contract entered into online, you may contact the Online Dispute Resolution providers by accessing the following link http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr

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 ODR platform itself is free to use, but 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.