We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues. If you would like to make a formal complaint, please follow our complaints procedure set out below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
You can also complain to the Legal Ombudsman or the Solicitors Regulation Authority as explained below.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint about any aspect of our service, or an issue with any of our bills, please contact us with the details. It would be helpful if you could deliver a written letter or email to our office setting out your complaint.
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Tim Johnson who will review your matter file.
Tim will then invite to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
Within three days of that discussion, Tim will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
If you do not want to discuss the complaint with Tim, or that is not possible, Tim will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another firm of lawyers, Benchmark Solicitors, 232-233, Temple Chambers, 3-7 Temple Avenue, Temple, London EC4Y 0HP, to contact you. We have an arrangement to deal with each other’s complaints if clients prefer. This will be at no extra cost to you.
We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review with Benchmark Solicitors, confirming our position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
If you are still not satisfied, we will offer a meeting or discussion with an agreed third party to mediate.
If you are still dissatisfied with our service, bills rendered, or the outcome of our complaint review, then you should refer to the office of the Legal Ombudsman as explained below.
The Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.
A complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must be made:
Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint from us; 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 or its services, please visit its website at https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/ or contact them by post (Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone (0300 555 0333).
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
We are regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA can take enforcement action against solicitors who break the Principles of its Code of Conduct.
If you are concerned about our conduct you can make a complaint to the SRA. You can contact the SRA by phoning 0370 606 2555. Further details of how to contact the SRA can be found on its website: https://www.sra.org.uk/.
Further information and guidance
The Legal Ombudsman’s Office has formal powers to resolve complaints about lawyers. It is a free service. Their job is to look at legal complaints in a fair and independent way – they will not take sides. As of February 2013 the upper limit for compensation awarded by the Legal Ombudsman is now £50,000. Also, as of this date the time limit for bringing a complaint is six years from the date of act or omission, or three years from when the complainant should have known of the complaint.
As with any kind of dispute, they recommend it best to complain to Tim Johnson/Law first to give us a chance to resolve the issue. If you are still not satisfied or are not sure about what to do, then please get in touch with their office at:
PO Box 6806