Complaints Handling Procedure
Our Complaints Handling Procedure tells you how we will deal with your complaint and how long it is likely to take. It also provides you with important information about what you can do if you are not happy with the way in which we are dealing with your complaint, or about our final decision.
Designated Complaints Handler
If you have any concerns about our service, our work, or our charges, you should discuss these first with the individual who has day-to-day control of your matter. If this person cannot satisfactorily address your concerns and you wish to make a complaint, please contact one of our Designated Complaints Handlers, either Sally Baber or Emma Davison. Sally and Emma are both Solicitors and Directors of Invalesco Family Law Limited and you can write to them at Offices 5-7 Parkhill Business Centre Annexe, Walton Road, Wetherby, LS22 5DZ or send an email to email@example.com.
Step One: Acknowledging your Complaint
Within two working days of receiving your complaint, it will be recorded in our Complaints Register and a separate file will be opened in which we will store any correspondence and other documents relating to your complaint. Within two working days we will also send you a letter acknowledging your complaint.
Step Two: Investigating your Complaint
Within five working days of receiving your complaint, we will review your file(s) and any other relevant documentation and send you a letter telling you how we propose to deal with your complaint. Examples of what we might say in this letter are as follows:
- • If your complaint is straightforward we might make suggestions as to how we can put things right or we may offer you some form of redress;
- • If your complaint is more complicated we might ask you to confirm, explain or clarify any issues;
- • We may ask to meet with you to discuss things face-to-face and we would hope to be in a position to meet with you no longer than fourteen working days after first receiving your complaint. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreeable timescale, we will write to you fully setting out our views on the situation and making suggestions as to how we can put things right, or asking you to confirm, explain or clarify any issues. Within three working days of any meeting, we will write to you again to confirm what took place and to confirm any offer of redress that we have made.
Whichever form our investigation takes, we will aim to give you our final decision within six weeks of receiving your complaint (or sooner if possible).
Step Three: Appealing against our Final Decision
If you are not satisfied with our final decision, please let us know and we will review our decision again. We will let you know the result of any review within five working days of receiving your appeal and will then confirm your options in writing. If you remain dissatisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint. We will also advise you whether we are prepared to engage in alternative methods of mediation.
Step Four: The Legal Ombudsman
You may refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final decision to you.
The relevant time limits are set out in the version of the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules in force from time to time (which can be accessed at: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/corporate-publications/scheme-rules/) or by contacting the Legal Ombudsman using the contact details provided below) and may only be extended by the Legal Ombudsman in exceptional circumstances.
Ordinarily, you cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless you have first attempted to resolve your complaint using our Complaints Handling Procedure, but you will be able to contact the Legal Ombudsman if:
- • The complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks of first making the complaint to us; or
- • The Legal Ombudsman decides that there are exceptional reasons why the Legal Ombudsman should consider your complaint sooner, or without you having to use our internal Complaints Handling Procedure first; or
- • The Legal Ombudsman considers that your complaint cannot be resolved using our internal Complaints Handling Procedure because the relationship between you and us has broken down irretrievably.
If you wish to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must be one of the following:
- • An individual;
- • A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
- • A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
- • A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;
- • A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or
- • A personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
Legal Ombudsman Contact Details
Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Alternative dispute resolution:
Alternative complaints bodies, such as ProMediate UK Ltd (www.promediate.co.uk) exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and this firm wish to use such a scheme. We do not usually agree to use such schemes as we believe the Legal Ombudsman is better equipped to resolve complaints against legal firms.
If we entered into a contract for the provision of services with you online you may also be entitled to use the EU Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform at: http://ec.europa.eu/odr to assist in resolving matters. The Platform will direct you to various Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) specialists who are competent to deal with complaints about legal service however we should point out that this firm does not ordinarily use such schemes and relies upon the services of the Legal Ombudsman to resolve such matters.
Complaints about our professional conduct or behaviour:
Our regulatory body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for concerns that you may have including dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
We are bound by various professional rules of conduct which can be viewed at www.sra.org.uk. You can also see more information about the help the SRA can give to you here:
Contact Details for Solicitors Regulation Authority:
Address: The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN
Telephone: 0370 606 2555