| Complaints Handling Procedure
Should you wish to make a complaint, please follow the Stages below:
Stage 1 Please inform the person handling your case of your concerns, first.
Stage 2 If matters are not resolved to your satisfaction then please contact the supervisor who will do what he or she can to put matters right. The supervisor will then contact you, acknowledging the complaint, confirming any matters discussed and agreed upon, and advising you of the action taken and any action proposed.
Stage 3 If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, then you should notify our Complaints Handler, Raj Bhalru, who is a Solicitor and Director of Ashley James through email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0121 702 1580. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 7 days and a thorough investigation undertaken, thereafter providing you with a detailed response to your complaint within 8 weeks of you first notifying us of your complaint.
You will not be charged for our time spent dealing with a complaint internally.
If you are not satisfied by the end of the internal complaints procedure, you do also have the right to refer any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman who can be contacted at:
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
There are time limits as to when you can make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. These are as follows:
a) Six years from the date of act/omission, or
b) Three years from the date you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago)
c) Within six months of you receiving a final response from us.
In relation to sections a) and b) the act or omission, or when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint must have been after 5 October 2010.
These time limit rules should normally be satisfied for the Legal Ombudsman to accept the complaint. Please refer to the Legal Ombudsman’s scheme rules for further information: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/about-us/#scheme-rules
Alternative complaints bodies such a ProMediate (http://www.promediate.co.uk/professionals-complaints/consumer-guidance) exist, which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. Ashley James Solicitors does not agree to use ProMediate as we prefer the Legal Ombudsman’s clear adjudication process.
For the avoidance of any doubt, a complaint may include a complaint about our bill. Depending on the type of matter we are handling for you, you may also have the right to object to the bill by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Please note that if all or part of a bill remains unpaid we are entitled to claim interest upon that proportion that is unpaid.
We have 8 weeks within which to respond to your complaint.
Complaints About Misconduct
If you have any concerns about any misconduct or breach of the SRA Code of Conduct by our firm such as taking or losing your money, dishonesty or discrimination, you can also report the matter to our regulatory body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Their details are:
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
0370 606 2555