Complaint handling procedure
Providing the best service to our clients is our number one priority. We are extremely sorry that you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service. This procedure explains how we will investigate your complaint and try to resolve it. It is intended to ensure that we do this fairly, effectively and swiftly, and to help us continually improve our services wherever possible.
Complaints should be addressed to one of our Client Care Officers. If you have a complaint regarding a matter which is being handled by a member of our team in the Havant, Southampton, Aylesford, or Liverpool office you should direct your complaint to Samantha Lee, whose email address is Samantha.Lee@swainandco.com. If your complaint is about Samantha Lee, then please contact our Deputy Client Care Officer, Nazia Zubair, whose email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Whilst you can call our offices on 02392 483322, we would ask that you write to us at Compass House, 57 The Meridian Centre, Havant, PO9 1UW.
For complaints in relation to work being undertaken in our Longton or Newcastle under Lyme offices, these should be addressed to Phillipa Connolly at Edward House, Uttoxeter Road, Longton, Stoke on Trent, telephone 0333 358 2582. If your complaint is in relation to Phillipa Connolly then please address your concerns to Nazia Zubair, whose email address is email@example.com. Either of the above telephone numbers may be used to leave a message for Nazia Zubair.
What will happen next?
- We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will do this within one working day of receiving your complaint.
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the details set out if necessary. You can expect to receive our letter within seven working days of us receiving your complaint.
- We will then investigate your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps:
- Asking the person who acted for you to respond to your complaint.
- Examining the response and the information in your complaint file.
- Asking the person who acted for you for more information.
- Reviewing all the information.
- This may take up to 14 working days.
- Where possible we will invite you to meet our Client Care Officer to discuss and, it is hoped, resolve your complaint.
- Within seven days of the meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions we have agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, we will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter and any appropriate redress. This will happen within seven days of us completing the investigation.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. We will then arrange for another partner of the firm to review our decision.
- We will let you know the result of the review within seven working days of receipt of your letter. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
We very much hope that we can resolve your complaint internally and improve our service as a result.
If we are unable to resolve the complaint with you then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates problems about poor service from lawyers.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint
- Six years from the date of act/omission: or
- Three years from when you should have reasonably known there was cause for complaint (only if the act took place more than six years ago).
The act or omission, or when you should have reasonably known there was cause for complaint, must have been after 5 October 2010.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman please contact them either by way of telephone, email, letter or livechat
Telephone: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri.
Minicom text phone users: 08002 0300 555 0333
NGT Lite users: 18001 0300 555 0333
From Overseas: +44 121 245 0350
Calls to 03 numbers will cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers (starting 01 or 02) from both mobiles and landlines. Calls are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806
Livechat: accessible via the main Legal Ombudsman website shown above
If you require information from the Legal Ombudsman in another language or in a different format, i.e. large print, braille or audio CD please contact them by telephone or email as follows:
Telephone: 0121 245 301
Do not send original documents to the Legal Ombudsman. They will scan any documents sent to them to make computer copies and then destroy the originals.
All Solicitors Regulation Authority regulated business are subject or rules and Principles of Professional Conduct, the Principles being that law firms and their people must act:
- in a way that upholds the constitutional principle of the rule of law, and the proper administration of justice
- in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons
- with independence
- with honesty
- with integrity
- in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion
- in the best interests of each client.
The Code of Conduct can be accessed via the link of: www.sra.org-uk/solicitors/standards-regulations but if this is not available online the link of www.sra.org.uk can be accessed to obtain details of how to access the Code which all regulated firms must follow.
Should you feel that there has been a breach of the Code of Conduct in relation to the above Principles you may complain directly to the SRA and the following link provides details of how you can report your concerns: www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems
Alternatively, the SRA can be contacted by telephone:
0370 6062555 – Inside the UK
+44 (0) 121 329 6800 – International Callers
Or by Post at:
Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN
Or by DX – DX720293 BIRMINGHAM 47