Complaints Procedure

We take complaints very seriously. Our complaints procedure applies to all complaints, including  any complaints in relation to the work we are doing for you and any complaints about bills. It is  graded into three levels. 

1 Level one 

1.1 Initially you should raise any difficulty you may be experiencing with our service with the  person undertaking your work, either verbally or in writing. We hope that most problems  and any misunderstanding will be resolved at this level. 

1.2 If one of our people receives a complaint they are required to complete a file note  explaining the details of the complaint, any discussion and the action taken. One copy of  the file note will be retained on the file of the matter we a dealing with for you and a second  copy will be forwarded to our Complaints Handler. 

2 Level two 

2.1 If you would rather not speak to the person dealing with your matter about your complaint,  or you remain unhappy after speaking to them about it, please contact our Complaints  Handler, Rupert Cowen, by email at or by telephone on +44  20 8064 0719 or +44 7957 201707. 

2.2 If Rupert Cowen is unavailable, or the complaint is about him, another senior person will  take the role of Complaints Handler.  

2.3 Within two working days of receiving a complaint, the Complaints Handler will write to you  acknowledging your complaint and ask you to confirm or explain the details if you have not  already done so. A copy of this Complaints Handling Policy will be attached. 

2.4 The Complaints Handler will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve  reviewing your matter file and speaking to the person acting on your behalf.  

2.5 The Complaints Handler will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including  suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement.  The written reply will confirm our position on the complaint and explain our reasons. 

2.6 If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

3 Level three – complaints to the Legal Ombudsman 

3.1 If we are unable to resolve a complaint about our service or your bill to your satisfaction,  or if we do not give you our final response to your complaint within 8 weeks of you formally  lodging it, you may be able to ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider your complaint. The  Legal Ombudsman is the statutory complaints handling body for complaints about solicitors  and can be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or, by telephone on 0300 555 0333, or via 

3.2 In the case of a complaint about your bill, you may be entitled to have your bill assessed  by the court under Sections 70 to 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974. If any bill or part of a bill  remains unpaid whilst a complaint is under investigation we may be entitled to charge interest if the bill is upheld. Please note that if you exercise your right to have a bill assessed  by the court, the Legal Ombudsman may not be able to consider your complaint. 

3.3 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 (or if outside this period, within three  years of when you should reasonably have been aware of that act or omission). 

3.4 Please note that to be entitled to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, you must be: 

• an individual; 

• a business or enterprise that is a micro-enterprise (European Union definition1); • a charity that has an annual income, net of tax, of less than £1 million; • a club/association/organisation the affairs of which are managed by its members or a  

committee and that has an annual income, net of tax, of less than £1 million; • a trustee of a trust with an asset value of less than £1 million; or 

• a personal representative or beneficiary of the estate of a person who, before they  died, had not referred the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. 

4 Complaints to the Solicitors Regulation Authority 

4.1 If you have a complaint about our conduct you can complain directly to the Solicitors  Regulation Authority, whose details can be found at 

5 Alternative complaints handling bodies 

5.1 We are required to inform you that alternative complaints handling bodies exist (such Pro  mediate, Brow Farm, Top Road, Frodsham, Cheshire WA6 6SP, 01928 732455,, which are able to deal with complaints about legal services should  both you and we wish to use such a body. Whilst it is free to use the Legal Ombudsman  service, there is a fee for using an alternative complaints handling body. Given the cost  and the fact that mediation is not binding on you or us, our view is that use of an alternative  complaints handling body is unlikely to be beneficial. It would be unusual for us to agree  to a reference to such a body. 

6 Complaints review 

6.1 Our Complaints Handler will review records of any complaints regularly and report to our  Management Board on any trends. It is our policy to address any underlying problems  and to use any complaints data to prevent future difficulties. 

6.2 Our people are made aware of any general complaint issues to help improve our service  and complaint handling and to raise awareness of issues that generate complaints.  

1 Micro enterprises are defined as enterprises which employ fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover or annual  balance sheet total does not exceed €2 million. (Article 1 and Article 2(1) and (3) of the Annex to Commission  Recommendation 2003/361/EC, as that Recommendation had effect at the date it was adopted.)