COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURE
Meadows Ryan Solicitors Ltd is committed to high quality legal advice and client care.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to sort out any mistakes or misunderstandings, and to improve our standards.
Please be assured that your complaint will be dealt with promptly, fairly and free of charge.
At first it would be helpful if you could discuss any feedback or concerns which you have about our service or how it might be improved with the lawyer dealing with your matter.
If the lawyer dealing cannot resolve your concern informally, or if the issue is of such a serious nature that you do not feel comfortable raising it with your lawyer, then you may discuss this with our Complaints Manager, Ashley Burrow, who can record everything you are unhappy about and recommend the best solution for you. You can contact Ashley at email@example.com
What we need to know
To deal with your complaint correctly, it would be helpful when contacting us if you could provide the following information:
- Your name, contact details and preferred contact method
- File reference number
- Details of your concerns
- How you would like us to put things right.
What will happen next?
- If you telephone us, we will endeavour to resolve the issue in that call.
- If you email or write to us, or if your complaint cannot be resolved in a phone call, we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within five working days of receiving it.
- We will log your complaint on our central complaints register and open a separate file for your complaint.
- We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve our Complaints Manager and / or another senior member of staff reviewing your file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you.
- She will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the written acknowledgement of your complaint referred to above.
- If the reply (and proposed action if any) is not satisfactory to you, the relevant partner will then invite you to a meeting. You may choose to have the meeting in-person, by telephone or by video call.
- Within three days of the meeting, our Complaints Manager will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another partner to review the decision.
- 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 reasoning.
- If we have to change any of these timescales, we will let you know, explain why and seek your agreement before proceeding.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint
- The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at the complaint independently and any investigation by them will not affect how we handle your case.
- For complaints about our service, including billing issues, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman via one of the methods below:
- Phone: 0300 5550333 between 09:00 – 17:00
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV19 9WJ
- Any concerns you with to raise with the Legal Ombudsman must be referred to them within six months of the date of our final response to you. Other time limits, as of 1 April 2023, to be aware of are:
- The Ombudsman will consider your complaint if you refer it on to them within either of the following: one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within a year of you realising there was a concern.
- The Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act/ omission or the date of awareness was before 5 October 2010.
- Note that the Legal Ombudsman service cannot be used by businesses or most other organisations unless they are below certain size limits. Further details are available from 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 at: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/
What to do if your complaint relates to an insurance policy
- If your unresolved complaint relates to an insurance policy covering your case, you may contact the Financial Ombudsman Service:
- Phone: 0800 023 4567
- Online complaint forms available via their website:
- Post: Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower. Harbour Exchange. London. E14 9SR.
What to do if your complaint remains unresolved
- If a complaint cannot be resolved, you may also be able to ask for it to be referred to a process of alternative dispute resolution using a certified provider. We are not required to agree to such a request. In any case this is not available to businesses, only consumers. We will give you more information about that right if it becomes relevant.