Our aim is always to provide our clients with the highest quality service in a friendly and approachable manner applying the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. A client who is unhappy with any aspect of the service we have provided or a bill raised is entitled to discuss this with us and complain. We aim to investigate complaints fairly, openly and effectively and to respond to them as quickly as circumstances allow.
Stage 1: Contact the Fee Earner with Conduct
If a client wishes to raise a complaint or concern, they should contact the Solicitor with conduct of their matter in the first instance, who will acknowledge their complaint, investigate it and provide a written response. The client may be invited to attend a meeting to discuss their matter and we hope to resolve matters swiftly and effectively.
However if we have been unable to resolve a particular issue, the client may escalate the matter as follows.
Stage 2: Contact the Complaints Manager
The Complaints Manager is set out in our initial client care letter sent to each client at the outset of their matter.
The Complaints Manager will investigate the complaint by examining the file, speaking to the fee earner(s) and relevant parties and identifying any address of resolution and redress. Their views will be communicated to the client in writing and a response provided within eight weeks from the date of the initial complaint. There may be some factors out of our control that mean that we require an additional period of time to provide a response. If that situation arises, we will write to the client, as soon as this becomes apparent, to explain and provide accurate time scale for response along with the reasons why. If after our own complaints handling procedure has run its course and the client feels we have been unable to resolve the complaint between us and the client remains dissatisfied with our response or the handling of the complaint, then the client may seek redress from external bodies.
Step 3: External Complaints
As a legal services provider, the client may refer their complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. This must usually be made within six months of the client having received a final written response from us about the complaint. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six years of the occurrence of the act or omission about which the complaint relates; or within three years from the date when the client should have known about or become aware that there were grounds for complaint.
The remit and procedures for the Legal Ombudsman are set out on its website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk and they can be contacted by post (PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ), by email email@example.com or by telephone
(0300 555 0333).
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Hallinan Blackburn Gittings & Nott is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (www.sra.org.uk) which is part of the Law Society of England and Wales. Our registration number is 833036. You may also ask the Solicitors Regulation Authority to review your complaint.
We pride ourselves on our quality of service, our transparency when dealing with clients' cases, and our integrity when conducting work on our clients' behalf. Should our clients feel we have acted in contravention of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct, acted dishonestly, mishandled client funds, or acted otherwise than in accordance with their best interests, our client may escalate their complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Our clients may raise their complaint with the Solicitors Regulation Authority directly if our client believes we have acted against the Solicitors Regulation Authority principles, or in breach of the Code of Conduct. Allegations of dishonesty, discrimination, or not acting independently are reviewed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority accept complaints via their website report form, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by telephone (0370 606 2555), or by post (The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B11RN).