Our Complaint Handling Procedure
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
Our Complaints Procedure
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the level of costs, please contact Gary Wright, our Complaints Manager, on 01752 334100 or [email protected] You can also write to him at Russell Worth Limited, Ashleigh Way, Langage Park Office Campus, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 5JX.
What Will Happen Next
If we have to change any of the responsibilities or timescales set out below we will let you know and explain why.
1. Within two days we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
2. We will then record your complaint in our central register. We will also investigate your complaint by examining the relevant file where we will document all complaint related information.
3. If appropriate we will then write to you responding to your complaint or invite you to a meeting either personally or on the telephone to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We would hope to be in a position to write to you or meet with you in this way no longer than 14 days after first receiving your complaint. If you would prefer not to meet either personally or on the telephone, or if we cannot arrange this within an appropriate timescale, we will write fully to you setting out our views on the situation and any redress that we would feel to be appropriate.
4. Within three days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions that we have agreed with you. In appropriate cases we can offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.
5. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We will generally aim to do this within 10 days. This will happen in one of the following ways:
- The person who investigated the complaint will review his or her own decision.
- We will arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it.
- We will ask our local Law Society to review your complaint, and we will let you know how long this process will take.
6. We will let you know the result of the review within five days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
7. The Solicitors Regulation Authority can also help you if you remain unhappy at the end of our complaints procedure. 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 by following this link https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page
8. If you are not satisfied by the response of the Solicitors Regulation Authority you may refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent organisation with powers to resolve complaints about legal services when issues have not been resolved between the client and their lawyer. The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are as follows:
- Postal Address – PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
- Telephone Number – 03005550333
- Email Address – [email protected]
- Website – www.legalombudsman.org.uk
The Legal Ombudsman Service is open to all members of the public and very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts; if in doubt whether you fall into one of those categories, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman.
Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. The time limits for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint are:-
- One year from the date of act/omission, or
- One year from when the complainant should have known about the complaint
The financial limit on compensation the Legal Ombudsman can award is currently £50,000 however the power to disallow costs is unlimited
In relation to costs, a client may alternatively have a right to apply to the Court for an assessment of the Company’s bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If the services we have provided relate to proceedings in a Court or tribunal, you may alternatively be entitled to have the amount of our fees checked or assessed under Rules of Court or Regulations applying to the particular proceedings, or under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court or tribunal before which the proceedings have taken place.
If a client exercises a right to have the firm’s costs assessed by the Court, they cannot refer the issue to the Legal Ombudsman.
Russell Worth Solicitors, Ashleigh Way, Langage Park Office Campus, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 5JX.