How we handle complaints

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service at all times. If something has gone wrong with our service or you feel that we could have done better, we need you to tell us about it.

Who to complain to

If you have a complaint, please contact Don Bird, senior partner. Should the complaint relate to Don Bird, please contact Diane Parker, partner. You can either email, telephone 01302 320621 or write to 8 Hall Gate, Doncaster DN1 3LU.

There may be occasions when it is appropriate to pass the complaint to the partner in charge of the department involved in your complaint. We will notify you if we do this. If we have to change any of the timescales set out below we will let you know and explain why.

What will happen next?
1. Usually within 3 working days, we will write to you acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. If it seems appropriate we may suggest a meeting at this stage.

We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. We will in any event write to you again or telephone you, usually within 20 working days, once we have had an opportunity of considering the file and discussing your complaint with the person dealing with your case. If we have not been able to finalise our investigations in that time, we will write to you in any event to keep you informed of the position.

2. We will 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. If appropriate we will invite you to meet us to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We would hope to be in a position to meet with you in this way no longer than 14 days after responding in writing to 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 action that we would feel to be appropriate.

4. Within 4 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 15 working days. This will happen in one of the following ways:

• The partner dealing with the complaint will review his or her own decision
• Another partner will review your complaint
• We will invite you to agree to independent mediation

6. We will let you know the result of the review within 5 working 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 do not then consider that your complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction you may contact the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman would usually expect you to have allowed us up to 8 weeks to respond fully to your complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman would also usually expect you to have followed our complaints procedure before he can consider a complaint. The time limits for the Legal Ombudsman to accept a complaint are ordinarily as follows:

(a) If you are not satisfied with our written response to your complaint and you wish to refer to the Legal Ombudsman, you must do so within 12 months of the date of our written response

(b) The act or omission, or when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint, must have been after 5 October 2010

(c) You must refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than six years from the act/omission; or three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint

You can contact the Legal Ombudsman at:

PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

Tel 0300 555 0333

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Further information can be found at:
www.legalombudsman.org.uk