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Complaint’s procedure


Our Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients.  When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help to improve our standards.

Your Complaint

If you wish to make a complaint then it is important that you do so as soon as possible after the issue you are complaining about arises.  If you have a complaint, please contact Michelle Edwards, our Complicate Lawyer.   You can write to her at Harris Fowler Solicitors, 6 Hammet Street, Taunton, TA1 1RZ or e-mail michelle.edwards@harrisfowler.co.uk or telephone 01823 251515.

In our experience most complaints can be dealt with simply by a brief discussion between you and the Compliance Manager.  In such circumstances matters can be dealt with without the formal procedures set out below.

Complaint’s procedure

If your complaint cannot be dealt with on a simple and informal basis or if we consider your complaint to be sufficiently detailed or serious to warrant further consideration then we will deal with matters in the following way:-

  • We will within 3 working days of receiving your complaint acknowledge your complaint and confirm that we are considering it.
  • Consideration of your complaint will of course entail both examining your file and discussing the issue which you have raised with the member of staff who dealt with your file. Normally we would expect to be in a position to respond to your complaint within 10 working days of you receiving the acknowledgement letter.  If for some reason perhaps such as the complexity of the matter or the absence of the relevant fee earner on leave, further time is necessary we will write to you to confirm this.
  • Once we have considered your complaint we will write to you giving a detailed reply. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter where appropriate.
  • If you are not happy with the response which you receive then you may write to us or contact us further. We can then arrange to review the decision.  This can happen in one of the following ways:-
    The Compliance Lawyer will review her decision within 7 working days of your request.
    Another Director of this firm not involved with your complaint can review this and this will be done within 10 working days of your request.
    We may also invite you to consider independent mediation and we will let you know how this process works at the relevant time.

At any time should you wish to come into the office to meet the Compliance Lawyer then we are more than willing to arrange this.

What happens if you are still not happy with the way the complaint has been dealt with?

If you remain unsatisfied with the response which you have received following the review of the initial decision then you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.  The Legal Ombudsman will expect you to have exhausted the complaints procedure set out above before referring the matter to him, or the referral may take place if this firm’s complaints procedure has not resolved your complaint satisfactory within 8 weeks from it commencing.

You should note there are time limits for any referral to the Legal Ombudsman.  Normally you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring ( or it outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it).  For further information you should contact the Legal Ombudsman .

The Ombudsman address is as follows:-

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

E-mail: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Attached to this complaints procedure is a copy of the Legal Ombudsman booklet “Here to Help” which will assist you should you decide to refer the matter to them.