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Complaints Handling Policy

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 us to improve our standards.

Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint, please contact Sarah Vickers or Lucy Warwick.  You can write to them at The Dowery, 22 Barker Street, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5TE or speak to them on the telephone on 01270 625478 or email at sarah.vickers@poolealcock.co.uk or Lucy at lucy.warwick@poolealcock.co.uk  Your complaint will be recorded in our central register and a file will be opened for your complaint. You will be contacted if we require any further information from you with regards to your complaint. If either Sarah or Lucy are unable to resolve your complaint themselves, they will allocate it to the head of department for the area of work who will conduct an investigation.  Please contact Sarah or Lucy at any time whilst your complaint being investigated if you want to make us aware of any additional information, or if you want an update on where the investigation is up to. 

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to the Head of Department who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
  3. The Head of Department will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including their suggestions for resolving the matter, within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter. 
  4. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact Sarah Vickers or Lucy Warwick and they will arrange for David Gaut, Managing Partner (and Complaint Handling Partner with overall responsibility for complaints) to review the decision. 
  5. Mr Gaut will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. 
  6. If the matter has not been resolved to your satisfaction within 8 weeks from raising the complaint with Poole Alcock, you have the right to raise this with the Legal Ombudsman. This may occur whilst the complaint is still under investigation if time limits have been extended, however you still have the right to go to the Ombudsman after 8 weeks in any event. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman at P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.  Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within 6 months.  Your complaint should also be brought to them within six years from when the problem first occurred (or within three years from when you first became aware of the problem, if it happened more than six years ago) and the problem you are complaining about must have taken place after 5 October 2010 (or, if it happened on or before 5 October 2010, you must not have been aware of it until after 5 October 2010). For further information you can contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or at www.legalombudsman.org.uk 
  7. Finally, if you are concerned about our behaviour, you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority at The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN. This would be relevant for matters involving dishonesty, taking or losing money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability of other characteristic.  For further information you can contact the SRA on 0370 606 2555.

If we have to change any of the responsibilities or the timescales set out above, we will let you know and explain why.

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