Barnard & Co Employment Law Solutions (“the Firm”) is committed to providing high quality legal advice and outstanding client care, and we therefore hope that you will have no complaint. However, if you are unhappy about any aspect of our service, we want to deal with your concerns promptly and efficiently, and will do so in accordance with this complaints procedure.
Notifying us of your complaint
It is generally accepted that most complaints result from a simple misunderstanding. We would therefore always encourage you to raise any concerns you have about the service you have received informally with Peggy Barnard (“the Principal Solicitor”) if and when they arise. It is hoped that this will enable us to resolve any issues before they develop to formal complaints.
In the event that an informal resolution has not been possible, formal complaints should be made in writing to the Principal Solicitor either via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by post.
Dealing with your complaint
We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days.
We will not charge you for investigating or dealing with your complaint.
We will aim to respond fully to your complaint within one calendar month of receipt. However, in cases where this is not possible, i.e. due to the complexity of the matter, we will let you know that we need more time and will advise when you can expect to receive a full response.
We will investigate your complaint thoroughly. This will include, but is not limited to: - reviewing all relevant correspondence, file notes, and documentation and where necessary asking you for further clarification regarding your complaint.
As the Firm operates as a Sole Practice, we reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to refer your complaint to an independent, legally qualified, third party for their assessment of the merits of your complaint and where relevant any suggested recommendations for resolving it. However, please note that any such independent assessment or recommendation received will not be binding on the Firm.
We will then contact you, usually in writing, to advise you of our views on the complaint and how we propose to resolve it.
If we have not resolved your complaint to your satisfaction within 8 weeks, you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007 to deal with complaints against solicitors. More information about the service of the Legal Ombudsman can be found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint, or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining (or alternatively 3 years from the date you should have reasonably been aware of it).
3.3 Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are as follows: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ; Telephone: number 0300 555 0333, E-mail: email@example.com.
Complaints about bills
You should also use this complaints procedure if you have a complaint about your bill.
You also have a right to object to your bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman referred to above and / or by applying to the Court for assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. We may however be entitled to charge interest if all or part of your bill remains unpaid.
Any complaints received will be recorded internally and reviewed annually to determine if there are any training requirements or changes in systems and processes which are required.