Client Complaints Handling Policy
1. About this Policy
1.1. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of service and to deal with everyone in accordance with the SRA Code of Conduct for solicitors. If you are unhappy with the quality of the services we are providing or are of the opinion that we are not behaving in accordance with the Code, it is important that you raise your concerns with us so that we can resolve them. When that happens, we commit to addressing your concerns promptly and fairly. We will not charge you for considering and responding to your complaint.
2. Complaints from Clients
2.1. If you wish to raise concerns about our service or charges, please contact the lawyer dealing with your matter or the supervising director. If you are unsure who these are, you will find their names in the engagement letter you received when we first started to act for you. They will be happy to deal with your complaint by informal discussion or in writing, whatever you choose, and they will do what they can to resolve matters courteously and promptly.
2.2. If you are unhappy with their handling of your complaint, or if you would rather deal with someone else, you are welcome to do so. In those circumstances you should make your complaint in writing by letter or email to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP), whose contact details are on our website (www.isadoregoldman.com or www.isadores.com). We will acknowledge your initial complaint within 3 working days of receipt and explain when we expect to contact you further. We might need to ask you for more information about your complaint before we can consider and respond to it.
2.3. How we deal with your complaint will depend on the nature of the complaint and how you respond to any request we make for more information. We commit to addressing and responding to your complaint within 8 weeks but in most cases would expect to do so more quickly than this.
2.4. If you consider that our behaviour is in breach of the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, then in the first instance you should complain either to the director who is supervising your matter or to our COLP. Details of the supervising director can be found in the retainer letter that we sent you at the beginning of your matter.
The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints about service quality and costs. It is our regulator, the SRA, that is ultimately responsible for dealing with complaints about unprofessional conduct. You may refer your complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority who can be contacted either via the SRA logo on our home page or at 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN
2.5. If by the end of this 8-week period you consider that the complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman or to an approved alternative dispute resolution (ADR) body whose details we will supply in our final written response.
2.6. If you wish to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, who can only deal with complaints about our services, you will find more information at www.legalombudsman.org.uk. To be eligible to make a complaint to the Ombudsman you should make such complaint within six months of receipt of our final response, from us, and ensure that the complaint is made within twelve months of the problem happening or twelve months from when you found out about it.
3. Complaints from non-clients
3.1. We are committed to dealing with complaints from all parties with whom we deal, for example, from beneficiaries, third parties, other professionals, or suppliers.
3.2. If your complaint relates to a matter where we are acting for a client, in the first instance we ask that you try to resolve any issues with the lawyer dealing with the matter on a day-to-day basis. Alternatively, you can ask the lawyer for details of the director who is supervising the matter and make your complaint to that director.
3.3. In all other situations, you should make your complaint to the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) whose contact details are on our website (www.isadoregoldman.com or www.isadores.com).
3.4. We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days of receipt and explain when we expect to contact you further. We might need to ask you for more information about your complaint before we can consider and respond to it. We commit to addressing and responding to your complaint within 8 weeks but in most cases would expect to do so more quickly than this.
3.5. If you are not satisfied with the way, we have dealt with your complaint then:
3.5.1. You may wish to contact the Legal Ombudsman to find out whether the Ombudsman is prepared to try to resolve your complaint (the Legal Ombudsman will usually only get involved in complaints made by clients in respect of services provided by their own lawyers)
3.5.2. You can look on the Legal Ombudsman’s website for details of other organisations who may be prepared to deal with your complaint.
3.5.3. If your compliant arises in the context of court proceedings, you should consider whether to raise your complaint with the court
3.5.4. If you consider that our behaviour is in breach of the SRA Code of Conduct for solicitors, then you should consider referring your complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority