CLIENT COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
Martin Cray & Co aims to provide the highest standard of legal service to every client. We value feedback, which provides us with an opportunity to check the quality of our service and to make improvements. We will consider any complaint carefully and objectively, endeavouring to resolve the issues and reach a satisfactory conclusion.
WHO SHOULD I COMPLAIN TO?
If you wish to complain (about our service or charges) please contact the fee earner dealing with your matter, or the principal of the firm, Martin Cray. Their names and contact details will be in the terms of business you received when you first instructed the firm on the relevant matter. We are happy to deal with your complaint by informal discussion or in writing, at your choosing. If you would prefer to deal with someone else, you are welcome to do so.
WHAT WILL MARTIN CRAY & CO DO?
We will acknowledge a complaint as soon as possible and set out a suggested timetable for our response. We normally aim to respond to you fully, within 14 days of receiving your complaint. If you are not satisfied with the initial response from the fee earner, the complaint can be escalated to Martin Cray. He will either:
(a) review the substance of your complaint himself; or
(b) ask another fee earner to look into the matter.
In either case your complaint will be looked at afresh and we will work with you to understand any remaining concerns. We will aim to provide a final response to you within 14 days of the complaint being escalated.
WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS? – THE LEGAL OMBUDSMAN AND THE SRA
Nothing in this procedure takes precedence over or replaces any right that you have to bring a complaint or dispute that you may have against the firm.
If your complaint remains unresolved, you may have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent organisation which deals with complaints about solicitors and other legal professionals.
Full details of the process are available from the Legal Ombudsman website (www.legalombudsman.org.uk) or can be obtained by calling 0300 555 0333 or emailing email@example.com.
The postal address is Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
The Legal Ombudsman can only consider complaints from a specific type of client. In addition, the Legal Ombudsman can only consider complaints made within certain time limits, generally 6 months from the date of our final response letter. Please refer to the Legal Ombudsman website for full details.
If your complaint relates to fees, you may be entitled to have them reviewed by the court by applying for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
If you take advantage of this procedure within a month from the date of our invoice, your right to a detailed assessment is unconditional. If you delay beyond a month the court may impose conditions. Once a year has elapsed since the date of the bill you will lose the right to a detailed assessment unless there are special circumstances.
Alternatively, if you consider that we have breached a regulatory obligation, you may refer the matter directly to the SRA:
https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/. The postal address is Solicitors Regulation Authority The Cube 199 Wharfside Street Birmingham B1 1RN.
You may also telephone them on 0370 606 2555 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.