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Complaints – our own process, the Legal Ombudsman and the SRA

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 at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you 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.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

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.

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9W

Our complaints procedure

This Firm is committed to high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about the bill, please see the following procedure:

1.     Please initially raise your complaint with your lawyer who should attempt to resolve the matter.

2.     If it is not possible for them to resolve your complaint then the matter can be escalated to the relevant Head of Department.

3.     If the problem remains then the matter is forwarded to the Client Care Partner, Denise Broomfield at the Salisbury Office, email: denise.broomfield@bishopslaw.com who will undertake a review of the file and discuss the matter with the relevant lawyer.

4.     Your complaint will be acknowledged as soon as practicable but a full investigation and review will take up to 28 days before reporting back to you.

5.     If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman [www.legalombudsman.org.uk] to consider the complaint. Please note that there are timescales for bringing a complaint to the Ombudsman and you should check on their website to ensure that you adhere to that.

Some clients have the right to complain to the Firm but are not able to complain to the Ombudsman, these are:

  • most businesses (unless they are defined as micro enterprises)
  • charities or clubs with an annual income of more £1m, or
  • trustees of trust with asset value of more than £1m

    If you are unsure of your rights, please contact the Legal Ombudsman for further advice.

If a complaint should concern an invoice, then you should use the Firm’s complaint process as detailed above.  Please note that the Firm is entitled to charge interest on any bills which remain unpaid in whole or in part.

If the complaint over your invoice involves Court proceedings, you may apply to the Court under the Solicitors Act 1974 for the firm’s charges to be assessed.  A strict time limit of 1 month from the date of the bill applies, and these procedures should be pursued promptly.  The reverse of your bill will provide further details.

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