Our Complaints Policy
We are committed to providing a high- quality legal service to all our clients and to dealing with all our clients fairly. If unfortunately, you should have reason to complain about our service, we aim to resolve the matter between us speedily. Normally, we would expect initially that the partner responsible for the advice given to you will be given the opportunity to do everything he or she can to address your concerns. If this does not resolve matters, we have the following procedure which is designed to achieve a satisfactory outcome for you.
Our Complaints Procedure
In the event that you are unable to resolve the issue with the partner responsible for the advice given to you, any concerns which you may have relating to any element of the matter, including our charges, should be addressed to our Complaints Partner, David Draisey. You can contact him at our offices (details above) and by email on: David.Draisey@hunterslaw.com.
Please note that if we have issued a bill for work, we have done on the matter and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding.
To help our Complaints Partner understand your complaint, please could you provide:
- Your full name and contact details
- What you think we have dealt with incorrectly
- What you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint, and
- Your file reference number (if you have one and you know what it is).
We will make no charge for investigating and responding to a complaint.
What Will Happen Next
- We will record your complaint in our central Register of Complaints. We will investigate the complaint by examining the relevant file and any other relevant documents. We will most likely speak with the person who dealt with your matter.
- We will write to you within three working days of receiving your complaint to acknowledge it and we will enclose a copy of this procedure for your reference.
- We may also need to ask you for further information or documents. If so, we will ask you to provide the information within a specific period of time.
- We will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.
- We may also, if appropriate, invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint as this is often a very good way to understand and deal with problems. However, you do not have to attend such a meeting if you do not wish to or are unable to. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you by telephone.
- We will write to you at the end of our investigation to advise you of the outcome. Where appropriate we will outline what we have done and what we propose to do in order to resolve your complaint. Wherever possible we will write to you within 21 days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement. If we are unable to meet that timescale, we will write to you to explain why this is so.
- Where a complaint is found to be justified the actions we take may include: an offer of apology; a reduction in our charges; or redress in some other way which we hope will be acceptable to you.
What If I Am Not Satisfied With The Outcome?
If you are not satisfied as to your complaint, please let us know as soon as possible and our Complaints Partner (or another partner) will review the matter further.
If you are still not satisfied with the handling of your complaint, you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider it. We do hope that this will not be necessary, but the details are:
The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
0300 555 0333
You must usually refer your complaint within six months of our final written response to your complaint and within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or within three years from the date when you reasonably ought to have known there was a cause for complaint). The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge and is intended for use by individuals, small businesses, charities and trustees, etc. The Ombudsman will not usually consider a complaint unless it has first been made to our firm and we have had eight weeks to handle it and provide our final written response. Complaints about a bill may not be considered if the bill has been challenged for assessment under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Further details of the service and what type of complaints are handled by the Ombudsman can be found at: www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Consumers
Alternative complaints bodies exist, such as ProMediate (www.promediate.co.uk), which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. We have, however, chosen not to adopt an ADR process and therefore if you wish to complain further, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman.
What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour
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 with the SRA (www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/).