Complaints

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, so that we can sort out any issues. If you need to contact us to make a complaint, please see our complaints policy.

POLICY STATEMENT

COMPLAINTS HANDLING AND REPORTING POLICY AND PROCEDURE

 

1. Our Complaints Policy

1.1. 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, so that we can sort it out if you are right.

 

2. What is a complaint?

2.1. A complaint is an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, distress, inconvenience or other detriment.

2.2. If you are unhappy with the service provided or you are dissatisfied with anything we have done or failed to do for you, you must feel free to complain to us. Even if you are just worried or confused, please feel free to use this complaints handling procedure. Making a complaint will not prejudice anything we are doing for you. You may also use this complaints procedure if you think that we have been unreasonable in refusing to act for you.

 

3. Our Complaints Procedure

3.1. If you have a complaint, please contact us with full details so that this may be fully investigated. We would like complaints to be in writing either by letter addressed to the Client Care Partner at Trethowans LLP, 5 Parkstone Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 2NL or email to andrew.carswell@trethowans.com.

3.2. If you cannot put your complaint in writing or do not want to do so, please telephone our Client Care Partner Andrew Carswell on 01202 339044.

3.3. If your complaint is about Andrew Carswell’s work please address your letter directly to our Managing Partner Chris Whiteley.

 

4. What will happen next?

4.1. We hope it is obvious but we will not charge you for dealing with your complaint.

4.2. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your written complaint normally within two days of receipt. We will acknowledge verbal complaints within the same period.

4.3. We will then investigate your complaint. This will be undertaken by our Client Care Partner, Andrew Carswell, sometimes with assistance from the relevant Team Leader.

4.4. Andrew Carswell will either send to you a detailed written reply including, if appropriate, our suggestions for resolving the matter or invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint, normally within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgment.

4.5. In the event of a meeting, within seven days Andrew Carswell will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you or proposes.

4.6. If your complaint is upheld we will acknowledge this and explain what we think is an appropriate and proportionate response. Where appropriate this may involve a remedy (which might be financial or non financial) that we believe compensates you for the loss and/or inconvenience that you have suffered.

4.7. If you are dissatisfied with the Client Care Partner’s decision you will have a right to appeal to the Managing Partner Chris Whiteley.

4.8. Chris Whiteley will then review the Client Care Partner’s written reply and respond to you within 21 days from receipt of your appeal. Where appropriate you may be invited to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.

4.9. We usually have a maximum of 8 weeks in which to give you a final response and if you are not satisfied with either the Client Care Partner’s or the Managing Partner’s decision you would normally then have 6 months (running from the end of the 8 weeks or our earlier final response) to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. If by the end of the 8 week period we have not given you a final response you have the option of referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or waiting for our final response. If you decide to wait you will normally have 6 months from the date of our final response to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.

4.10. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

4.11. You may want to look at the Legal Ombudsman website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

You can contact the Legal Ombudsman on:

Tel: 0300 555 0333 or write to him at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or email him at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.

The Legal Ombudsman will accept complaints that are made:

a.) up to 6 years from the date of act or omission;

b.) up to 3 years from when you should have known about the complaint

4.12. 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.

As a firm we have decided as a matter of policy not to engage in resolution via Alternative complaints bodies as we believe our internal complaints procedure and the availability of the Legal Ombudsman are sufficient.

 

5. Monitoring

5.1. Monitoring of this policy will be by the Client Care Partner.

 

6. Evaluation

6.1. Evaluation of this policy will be by the Client Care Partner.

 

Policy reviewed and adopted by the Board

Date of review: 2018

Signed by Chris Whiteley (Managing Partner)

 

Alternatively, if you would like to resolve your dispute online, please follow the link to the Online Dispute Resolution platform: http://ec.europa.eu/odr