VANGUARD LAW COMPLAINTS
We are committed to providing a high-quality service to all clients of the practice. This includes a commitment to putting things right when they go wrong. This policy explains how we will deal with any complaint that is referred to me. Your complaint might concern the way in which you have been dealt with, the quality of advice you have received or the amount of any invoice that you have received.
If you have a complaint, please let me know, whether by post to this office or by e-mail email@example.com. It would be helpful if you could let me know your concerns in writing, but if you would prefer not to, or if you would find it difficult to do so, please telephone me instead at 01282 792577.
To explain to you how long this process might take I have included my target times for each stage of the process. Where, for any reason, it is not possible to observe any of these limits I will let you know and explain why.
What will happen next?
- On receipt of your complaint I will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and might invite you to a meeting to discuss your concerns. I will open a file for your complaint in my system and will examine the file on the work that this Company has been doing for you. I would look to acknowledge your complaint within two days of receiving it and will complete my initial examination within seven days.
- I might then invite you to a meeting or write to you to ask for further information. Alternatively I might write to you setting out my views on the situation and proposing any redress that would seem to be appropriate. I will aim to write to you with my views and any suggestions within seven days of completing my investigations.
- Where I feel that I have failed in my standards I could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.
- If, by this stage, you are still not satisfied, please let me know. It would be helpful to me if you could do so within the next 21 days, but there is no obligation on you to do so. I will then arrange to review my decision in the light of any comments that you make. I would generally aim to do this within ten days of hearing from you.
- I will let you know the result of the review within seven days of the end of the review and will do so by writing to you to confirm my final position on your complaint and explaining my reasons.
- You may, if you wish, approach the Legal Ombudsman who provides a service examining complaints against lawyers, including solicitors’ firms. He will usually expect firms to have concluded their examination of complaints within eight weeks their being notified of them and will require complaints to be referred to him within six months of the end of our complaints handling process as set out above. The services provided by the Legal Ombudsman are limited to individuals and smaller organisations – for more details of his service see his website and the terms of business provided to you when you first instructed me. The full details of how to contact this office are as follows:
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Minicom: 0300 555 1777
Address: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
7. You should note that the Legal Ombudsman will not be able to accept your complaint if:
- more than six years have elapsed from the date of the alleged act or omission giving rise to your complaint;
- more than three years have elapsed since the time that you should have known about your entitlement to make a complaint if later than above; or
- the date of the alleged act or omission giving rise to the complaint was before the 6th October 2010.
- In addition to directing a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you will be able to refer your dispute for Alternative Dispute Resolution. There are three Institutions available to deal with disputes in the legal services sector, namely the Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation. If required, we will provide contact details for those mediation services.