Slateford is committed to providing impeccable service to its clients. Should you feel that we have not met that standard, then please raise any concern you may have with the fee earner who is responsible for the conduct of your matter.
Should you wish to raise a formal complaint, then you should contact the fee earner who is responsible for the conduct of your matter, or the firm’s Complaints Manager Jessica Lovell. Our written complaints policy containing further details of our complaints procedure is set out below.
Slateford Complaints Handling Procedure
How do we define a complaint?
“A complaint is any expression of customer dissatisfaction however it is expressed which the person with conduct of the file is unable immediately to resolve.”
We want to provide a high-quality service to all our clients, but we appreciate that we may not always achieve these aims. We also want to know about problems and put them right if we can, promptly, fairly and effectively.
So, we value feedback from our clients and want to learn from it and want to make you aware of the steps in our Complaints Handling Procedure, as follows:
Step one – contacting us
Please contact your Client Relationship Partner in the first instance to verbally report your complaint. You may be asked to put your concerns in writing.
Upon receiving your compliant we aim to send you a letter acknowledging receipt within 3 working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
We cannot promise to get you a complete answer quickly in every case, as we want to understand every complaint fully, and this can take time. We will however acknowledge your complaint promptly in writing and will keep in touch with you to update you on progress.
Step two – our review and response
Your Client Relationship Partner or a member of the Firm will review your complaint internally and will aim to complete investigations within two weeks, but it can take longer, especially if we require further information from you, if files have been archived or if the issues are particularly complex, in which case we aim to complete an investigation within four weeks.
Your Client Relationship Partner or a member of the Firm may invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint and the details of the investigation, with a view to attempting to resolve your complaint if possible.
We will then send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including our suggestions for resolving the matter.
If we have made an error which is negligent then we are required to refer you to another lawyer and cannot advise you further. If this is the case we will let you know and will also be obliged to notify our professional indemnity insurance underwriters.
Step three – if you are not happy with our response
We hope we can resolve the problem but if we are not able to, our Complaints Partner Jessica Lovell will internally review your complaint, our investigation and our response. If our Complaints Partner has already been involved, as they are your Client Relationship Partner, we will ask another Partner to conduct the review. Jess can be contacted on 0207 1777444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Complaints Partner will provide you with his or her assessment within eight weeks of the date of your complaint.
Step four – Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Legal Ombudsman
If you are not happy with the response provided by our Complaints Partner, we will provide you with the name of an approved alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) approved body which would be competent to deal with the complaint. We will also let you know whether we agree to use the scheme operated by that body.
If you are still not satisfied you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for complaints about lawyers. The Legal Ombudsman will look at your complaint independently and, again, it will not affect how we handle your matter.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation though, 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 six years from the date of act/omission; or
- no more than three years 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.
Tel: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00
PO Box 6806
What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
Visit their websiteto see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.