Complaints Policy

1. Complaints

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service, we have provided you should inform us immediately so we can do our best to resolve the problem.

We aim to deal with any complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively.

It is the policy of the firm that:

  • every complaint made by a client is reported and recorded centrally
  • every complaint received is responded to appropriately
  • the cause of the problem is identified
  • appropriate redress is offered, and
  • unsatisfactory procedures are corrected.

Definition of complaint

Our definition of a complaint is: “any written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction referred to any person in our organisation by a client”.

A complaint can be identified through a letter, telephone call, e-mail, and fax or in the course of a face-to-face conversation.

A complaint may involve:

  • dissatisfaction with the handling of a case
  • disappointment with an alleged lack of communication
  • frustration with an alleged lack of case progress
  • an allegation of discrimination, or
  • dissatisfaction with the outcome of the case.

However, issues of a very minor nature, for example, not returning a non-urgent telephone call until the following day will not necessarily need to be recorded as a complaint.

Complaints may be received from other parties who are not our clients. Although we are not obliged to handle these complaints in the same way, we would ordinarily look to respond to them and investigate the complaint in a similar manner and in similar timescales. We will however make the complainant aware that some elements and timings in our complaints handling procedure are aimed at our clients and may not be appropriate and will be adapted accordingly. Depending on who it is who has complained and the nature of the complaint, the complainant will be made aware that they may not have the same recourse to raise issues with the Legal Ombudsman.

Complaints Handling Representative

We have appointed Adarsh Girijadevi, who is our COLP, as our Complaints Handling Representative. In his absence or to assist as a deputy, complaints will be handled by Yogita Sharma.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your matter to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues. If you would like to make a formal complaint, you can read our full complaints procedure noted below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your matter.

2. Complaint Procedure

Step One: Formal Complaint 

Please provide the full nature of the issue that you would like us to address, we would prefer this to be in writing in order that any scope for misunderstanding can be avoided.   However, this is not obligatory and you are welcome to provide the details to over the telephone or face to face.   If you are setting out your concerns in writing then you can do this by emailing our complaint handling representative at adarsh@citylegalservices.co.uk or in writing by post to Adarsh Girijadevi, City Legal Solicitors, 22 Peterborough Road, Harrow HA1 2BQ.

Step two: Acknowledgement

We aim to resolve complaints as soon as possible and we shall endeavour to acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receipt. Our acknowledgement shall explain the next steps and the likely timescale for sending you our written response to your complaint. 

Step three: Investigation & Response

Our complaint handling representative shall then investigate the matter by reviewing the matter file and speaking to the member of staff concerned within ten working days of acknowledging receipt of your complaint. If, for some reason, the matter cannot be investigated in this timeframe, then we will write to you notifying you of this together with the reason why and giving a revised timescale.

If during the investigation of a complaint, the Complaints Handling Representative identifies a matter which could give rise to a potential negligence claim or where a client claims financial loss, compensation or threatens legal action, they will decide, in conjunction with our insurers, whether we should continue with this complaints procedure or adopt some other course of action.

Once the investigation has been completed, if appropriate and necessary, our Complaint Handling Representative shall invite the client to discuss the issue(s) they have raised and hopefully resolve the complaint.  This could be a meeting; video conference call or telephone call and we will discuss the client preference and availability to arrange a convenient time. This process of engagement will take place within ten working days of sending the acknowledgement letter to the client.

Following the meeting, our Complaint Handling Representative shall write to you within five working days of any meeting or call to confirm the discussion and the solution agreed upon and/or any final redress that is offered.

Alternatively, if the client does not want to or are unable to attend such a meeting or would prefer to continue to correspond by letter or email (or if a meeting is not required), we will send the client a detailed, written response, including the proposed solution, within fourteen working days of sending the acknowledgement letter to the client.

Step four: End of complaint or Reconsideration

If the client is satisfied with our response following the above steps, that will be the end of the matter. However, if the client is not satisfied, they will be invited to contact our Complaints Handling Representative again and they will arrange for another senior member of staff who is unconnected with the matter to review the decision. They will write to the client within fourteen days of receiving the request with confirmation of the firm’s final position in relation to the complaint, outlining the reasons and any final redress that is offered.

Step five: Other avenues

Clients must always try complaining to us first. In most cases they will not be able to take their complaint further without allowing us the opportunity to put things right.

We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time, you may be able to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. This applies if you are an individual, a business with fewer than 10 employees and turnover or assets not exceeding a certain threshold, a charity or trust with a net income of less than £1m, or if you fall within certain other categories (you can find out more from the Legal Ombudsman).

Clients are free to refer any complaint about our work, fees or level of service but there are some conditions and time limits. Please be aware that any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of the client having received a final written response from us about their complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your matter. 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:

  1. within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
  2. no more one year from the date of act/omission being complained about; or
  3. no more than one year from when you realised that there was cause for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman has the ability to exercise discretion to extend the 1-year time limit for specific customers if, on the evidence, it is fair and reasonable to do so. If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Web: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Address: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

3. What To Do If You Are Unhappy With Our Behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority 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 Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Contact details

Web: www.sra.org.uk

Call: 0370 606 2555 inside the UK or  +44 (0)121 329 6800 for international callers

Address: The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street. Birmingham, B1 1RN

4. Our Regulatory & Contact Information

City Legal Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Our SRA registration number is 834730. For further information about our complaints handling procedures, please do not hesitate to contact Adarsh Girijadevi, Managing Director on 020 8175 4000, by email at adarsh@citylegalsolicitors.co.uk or by post to FAO Adarsh Girijadevi, City Legal Solicitors, 22 Peterborough Road, Harrow, HA1 2BQ.

© City Legal Solicitors. Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA no: 834730

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