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, to enable us to do our best to resolve the problem for you.
Information to be given to clients at the outset of their case
We will tell all clients at the outset of their case, that they are entitled to complain about our services to them, including about the firm’s bill. Clients will be provided with information about who to contact if they cannot easily resolve their complaint with the lawyer who has conduct of their case.
What is a complaint?
We will regard a complaint as being any expression of dissatisfaction in relation to the legal services, client care or complaints management process provided by the practice, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.
How complaints should be made
If you become unhappy or concerned about the service we are providing, then you should let us know. Complaints may be made face to face, by letter, email, or on the telephone. In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the lawyer who is dealing with your case to discuss your concerns, as they may be able to resolve this informally for you.
However, if you remain unsatisfied and you wish to make a formal complaint, then please contact Lucie Malins with the full details of your complaint. We prefer you to raise any complaint as soon as possible, to give us the best opportunity to resolve it. We would expect to receive any complaints within 12 months of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned, or within 12 months of you realising that there was a concern.
To make a formal complaint you can contact Lucie Malins in writing at Richard Nelson LLP, Priory Court, 1 Derby Road, Nottingham, NG9 2TA, by telephone on 0115 986 3636, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will we respond to a complaint?
- On receipt of a complaint, we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint within two working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- We will then investigate your complaint. This will include reviewing your file and speaking to the lawyer responsible for your matter. We will seek to identify the cause of your complaint and will seek to offer appropriate redress. We will analyse if we need to make any changes to our policies and procedures and if we have any training needs.=
- Lucie Malins will then offer you the opportunity of a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. She will do this within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within three days of a meeting, Lucie Malins will write to you to confirm the outcome of the meeting and any solutions she has agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting, or if it is not possible to arrange one, Lucie Malins will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 28 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- If your case and/or complaint are particularly complicated, we may not be able to adhere to the standard timeframe set out in this procedure. In these circumstances, we will explain this to you and will aim to agree with you a realistic, fair timeframe for investigating your complaint and for responding to you.
- On receipt of our written response to your complaint, if you remain unsatisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for our Managing Partner, Marie Dancer, to review the decision. You should request this review within 21 days of receiving the detailed written reply/reply following a meeting. If you require additional time to respond, you should make this request within the 21 day period, detailing your reasons and we will seek to agree a suitable extension of time with you.
- We will write to you within 10 days of receiving your request for a review, providing you with the firm’s final written response about your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If a complaint relates to either Lucie Malins or Marie Dancer, then their role in the complaint process will be substituted appropriately by another Partner.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint
If we are unable to resolve your complaint, then you can have your complaint independently reviewed by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers. The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned, or within one year of you realising there was a concern. The Legal Ombudsman also expects you to refer complaints to them within six months of our final response to you.
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted at Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or at www.legalombudsman.org.uk or by telephone on 0300 555 0333 or by email at email@example.com. If you would like more information from the Legal Ombudsman, then please contact them.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things such as dishonesty, or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. More information can be found at their website at https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page
Alternative complaints bodies exist, such as ProMediate, which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. ProMediate can be contacted via their website at http://www.promediate.co.uk/ ProMediate should be contacted within 12 months of receiving a final letter from this firm regarding a complaint. We will consider using such as scheme on a case by case basis.
Records of complaint
We will maintain a central record of all complaints. This will enable us to conduct an annual review of all complaints received and the outcome to enable us to verify that our complaint procedure is in effective operation across the firm. A copy of this procedure will be published on our website.
This complaints procedure policy document was last updated on 03/04/23.