Our complaints policy
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint, please contact the Client Partner named in your engagement letter. If, however, you feel unable to discuss the complaint with the Client Partner, please contact Mrs Shepard, who is the Managing Partner of the firm with overall responsibility for client care.
If we have to change any of the responsibilities or the timescales set out below we will let you know and explain why.
What will happen next?
1. Within 5 working days we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. We will also confirm the name of the Partner who will be dealing with your complaint.
2. We will then record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will also investigate your complaint by examining the relevant file.
3. Once we have undertaken a detailed review of your file, we will, if appropriate, provide you with a substantive written response to your complaint. Alternatively, we may invite you to meet with the Partner who has undertaken the review to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We would hope to be in a position to provide you with a substantive written response, or have arranged a convenient appointment to meet with you, no more than 14 days after first receiving your complaint. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreeable timescale, we will write fully to you setting out our views on the situation and any redress that we would feel to be appropriate.
4. Within 5 working days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions that we have agreed with you. In appropriate cases we could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.
5. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within 14 days. This will happen in one of the following ways:
- The Partner who has investigated the matter will review his or her own decision.
- We will arrange for another Partner in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it.
- We will ask our local law society or another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint. We will let you know how long this process will take.
- We will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take.
6. We will let you know the result of the review within 7 days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
7. If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you have the following options:-
(i) if you are not happy with the work we have undertaken on your behalf or the service you have received, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ, telephone: 0300 555 0333, to consider the complaint. Alternatively, you can complete a report form on-line at www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.
Alternative complaints bodies also exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services, should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. Examples of alternative complaints bodies include Ombudsman Services, website: www.ombudsman-services.org. ProMediate, website: www.promediate.co.uk and Small Claims Mediation, website: www.small-claims-mediation.co.uk. Harvey Copping & Harrison Solicitors agree to use Small Claims Mediation.
(ii) If you consider that we have behaved in a dishonest manner, or if you have any other concerns regarding our conduct during the course of your matter, you can make a report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority at The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN, telephone: 0121 329 6800. Alternatively, you can complete a report form on-line at www.sra.org.uk