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Complaints POLICY

The Lyons Bowe Complaints Policy

Introduction

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients.  However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

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 your unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.sra.org/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page

The Complaints Procedure

The complaints procedure is as simple as possible and has 2 stages – Informal and Formal.

Informal stage

The aim of the firm is to resolve your complaint as quickly and smoothly as possible.  If you have a complaint, please contact the person dealing with your matter or their supervisor (named in the client care letter sent to you when you instructed us) to see if we can resolve the problem.  We will try to resolve any issues you may have but if the matter cannot be resolved informally then we will move on to the formal stage.  Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

Formal stage

If a complaint involves issues which cannot be resolved informally by the fee earner or their supervisor there may be a need to act more formally.  If this is the case the supervisor will refer your complaint on for further investigation.

What will happen in that case?

  1. The Compliance Officer (Edward Romaine – Director) will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint within 3 working days of receiving your complaint and enclose a copy of this procedure. The Compliance Officer will deal with the complaint.  They may ask you to confirm or explain your complaint in more detail if the initial letter of complaint is unclear.

  2. Your complaint will be recorded in our Complaints Central Register and the Compliance Officer will immediately start to investigate the circumstances surrounding your complaint.

  3. You may be asked by telephone, email or letter for further information by the Compliance Officer during the investigation. A detailed reply to your complaint will normally be sent to you within 15 working days of acknowledging your complaint.  This may include suggestions for resolving the matter.  If for any reason it is not possible to provide a full response to your complaint within this period, the Compliance Officer will contact you and explain why further time is needed to complete their enquiries.

  4. Further updates will be sent to you at 10 working day intervals until they are able to respond fully to your complaint. Once the Compliance Officer has clarified the circumstances relating to your complaint they will provide a written explanation.

We have 8 weeks to consider your complaint from start to finish.

If we have not resolved it within this time or you do not agree with the outcome you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman if you are an individual or small business.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves.  They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case. 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 to your complaint

and

  • No more than one year from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than one year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

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

Contact Details

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 09.00am to 17.00pm

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman .org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Lyons Bowe Name does not charge for work involved in dealing with complaints using this procedure.

This procedure does not apply to cases where you consider we have been negligent or any other situation where we have a professional obligation to refer you to another solicitor.  You will be advised if this is the case.

If you are dissatisfied with our bill to you, and we cannot resolve this between us, you can apply to the court for an assessment of the bill under the Solicitor’s Act 1974 as amended by the Legal Services Act 2007.  This is known as an s70 assessment.  However, the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about the bill if an application has been made to the court for assessment.  Please also note that if all or part of the bill remains unpaid the firm may be entitled to charge interest.