Complaints Handling Policy and Procedure.
Our Complaints Policy
Brightstone Law LLP is committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. However, when something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us improve our standards.
Our Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint, please contact the lawyer that is dealing with your matter, or their supervising Partner. These details will be in your Letter of Engagement. We are happy to deal with your complaint by phone in the first instance, or by letter or email, as you prefer.
What will happen next?
- 1. If the matter cannot be resolved after a conversation or initial correspondence, we will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within seven days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- 2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Complaint Handling Partner, Jonathan Newman who will review your matter and speak to the member of staff/fee earner who acted for you. If your complaint is against Jonathan Newman, the firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, Michelle Rosen will investigate your complaint.
- 3. Depending on the nature of the complaint you may invited to a meeting to discuss in the hope of resolving your complaint, if it is considered that such a meeting is in the best interests of both parties and will facilitate a resolution. If appropriate you will be invited to attend a meeting within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- 4. Should a meeting take place, then within seven days of the meeting, we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions that have been agreed with you.
- 5. If a meeting is not considered appropriate, we will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- 6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and if appropriate we will arrange to review the decision. Someone unconnected with the matter at the firm will carry out the review.
- 7. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint, and explaining our reasons.
- 8. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not addressed it within this time, or you remain dissatisfied with our handling of your complaint, you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
- 9. Normally you will need to bring a complaint to the legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and
- within one year from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring or
- within one year of when you should reasonably have realised that there was cause for complaint.
- 10. The Legal Ombudsman will look at the complaint independently and any investigation by them 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 the complaint with us in the first instance. The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge to a complainant.
- 11. The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are:
- 12. Where any complaint relates to our bill then you may also have a right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under the Solicitors Act 1974 however, the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about our bill if you have applied to the Court for an assessment.
- 13. Alternative complaints bodies such Ombudsman Services, www.consumer-ombudsman.org exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
- 14. If it is not possible to deal with the complaint within the above timescale, we will let you know and explain why.
- 15. The firm will not charge for handling the complaint.
- 16. You can also raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, if you are concerned about this firm’s professional conduct — sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.
Complaints Handling Partner
Brightstone Law LLP
511 Centennial Avenue
Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3FG
Email: [email protected]
0208 731 3080