Complaints Handling Policy

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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. You can write to her at The Dowery, 22 Barker Street, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5TE or speak to her on the telephone on 01270 625478 or email Sarah at sarah.vickers@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 Sarah is unable to resolve your complaint herself, she will allocate it to the head of department for the area of work who will conduct an investigation.  Please contact Sarah at any time throughout 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 may invite you to a meeting, if appropriate, to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter.
  4. Within five working days of the meeting, the Head of Department will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
  5. If you do not want a meeting or if it is not practical to hold one, the Head of Department will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter.
  6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact Sarah Vickers and she will arrange for David Gaut, Managing Partner (and Complaint Handling Partner with overall responsibility for complaints) to review the decision.
  7. Mr Gaut will write to you within 21 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
  8. Although we hope it will not be necessary, if you are still not satisfied 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 that 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 legalombudsman.org.uk
  9. 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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