Complaints Handling Procedure
In this Complaints Handling Procedure the words “we”, “our” and “us” mean Allen and Co a firm with a Recognised Sole Practitioner, namely Mrs Tracey Allen. The firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Allen and Co is committed to promoting equality and diversity. This Complaints Procedure will be applied in accordance with our Equality and Diversity Guidance and Policy. Should you require an adjustment to be made to our complaints process, then you should not hesitate to request the same and we will do all that we can to accommodate your needs.
Our complaints policy
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. However, we also accept that mistakes, misunderstandings, delays and other errors can occur.
“A complaint can be any expression of dissatisfaction”. (Law Society Practice note 2nd January 2020)
When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards. Where a more minor concern has been raised informally it is hoped that it can be resolved informally too, without the need of recourse to this procedure. E.g. a failure to return a call, could be resolved with an apology for the delay and an urgently returned call.
We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
What will happen after you have raised a formal complaint?
- We will aim to send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint and enclosing a copy of this procedure, within two working days of us receiving your complaint. We may ask for additional information at this point.
- We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing the file to the Principal (Tracey Allen), who will review the matter.
- You will then be invited to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. This will be done within seven working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within three working days of the meeting, we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions or remedies agreed with you. Such solutions or remedies may include but are not limited to,
- An oral or written apology
- Putting things right
- A review of our policies and procedures
- An appropriate and proportionate reduction in our fees
- Compensation for loss suffered
- If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible to hold one, we will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including suggestions for resolving the matter, within twenty one working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again. With your consent, arrangements will then be made for a member of the Solicitors Sole Practitioners Group or the local Law Society or another solicitor to review your complaint. You will be advised of how long this is likely to take.
- You will be advised of the outcome of the review within five working days of the end of the review.
- If you are still not satisfied, then you have the right to contact the Legal Ombudsman at [email protected] or PO Box 6167 Slough SL1 0EH, about your complaint.
The Ombudsman is an independent complaints body. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of receiving our final written response about your complaint. Further information can be obtained from the Legal Ombudsman (tel: 0300 555 0333 or www.legalombudsman.org.uk between 9am to 5pm)
- Before accepting a complaint for investigation 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.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) 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 website to see how you can raise your concerns. www.sra.org.uk
- Alternative complaints bodies (such as ProMediate; www.promediate.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
Allen and Co reviewed February 2024