This firm’s complaints policy

As a firm we are committed to providing a quality legal service to all our clients.

Consequently, it is essential when something goes wrong or any client believes they have reason to complain that we have an effective procedure to assist the complete and early resolution of the problem.

Only by doing so can we hope to maintain the quality standards we set ourselves and improve them by learning from what may have gone wrong and what our clients tell us.

The Procedure

Although not essential, in making your complaint it would be helpful to us if you could provide details of your concerns in writing (if you have not already done so). Your complaint should be addressed to Miss E K Oldfield, a partner at the firm’s office at 90 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2QJ.

It should be remembered that investigation of a complaint can occasionally involve the detailed review of a file, or the making of enquiries with other parties. These tasks will be undertaken promptly, but can take time.

While Miss Oldfield will retain overall responsibility for the handling of your complaint, certain of the steps set out below may be delegated to a lawyer experienced in the particular type of work. Another partner, usually the head of the relevant department, will deputise for Miss Oldfield should she be away at the time.

Step-by-Step Procedure

Item Timescale
1. We acknowledge receipt of the complaint and, unless the complaint can be dealt with in the timescale, confirm what preliminary action will be taken, or, where necessary, ask for further information. Within 5 working days of its receipt.
2. Where further information has been requested from the complainant and received we acknowledge receipt and, unless the complaint can be dealt with in the timescale, confirm what preliminary action will be taken. Within 5 working days of its receipt.
3. We will then commence investigating your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps:‑
3.1   the person who acted for you will be asked to provide to the investigating partner a response to your complaint within 5 working days, together with the file. Within 5 working days of receiving the complaint or further information.
3.2   the response will then be examined together with the file and your complaint and, if necessary, further information will be sought from the person who acted for you. Within 10 working days of receipt of the response and file.
4. If the above timescales cannot be met, e.g. because of the amount of work involved, or the unavailability of key personnel for holiday or sickness, you will be notified. When the reason for possible delay becomes apparent.
5. A full response will be sent to you, with any suggestions we might have for resolving it to our mutual satisfaction. Within 7 working days of completion of the investigation.
6. If any meeting or telephone conversation takes place between us as a result of our response, we will write to you to confirm what took place and any agreed solution that was arrived at. Within 5 working days of the meeting or conversation.
7. If, at a meeting or from your written reply to our detailed written response, you remain dissatisfied with what we said and how we propose resolving your complaint we will arrange for our decision to be reviewed. This may happen in one of the following ways:‑
7.1   by reviewing our handling of your complaint and why you are dissatisfied with the decision, or Within 10 working days of your response.
7.2   by arranging for someone else or a small number of people in the firm who are entirely unconnected with the complaint to review the complaint, the response, the file and any other relevant information, how the complaint was handled and the decision on it. Within 15 working days of your response.
8. After the review has taken place you will be informed of the outcome. This will review our initial handling of your complaint and our decision on it. Within 5 working days of the end of the review.
9. If you still remain dissatisfied with how your complaint has been handled and the decision on it, we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining why we consider our handling of, and decision on, it (and of any review) was reasonable. We will also supply you with the name and address of the Legal Ombudsman at the Law Society, the solicitors’ regulatory body to whom you may refer your complaint once we have concluded our professional obligation to try and resolve it. Within 10 working days of the conclusion of the review.