We aim to offer all our clients an efficient, effective and high quality service and we encourage feedback from Clients about our services and our Partners and staff. If you are dissatisfied with the service we have provided then you have the right to complain. We acknowledge that we may not always get it right so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to the invoice, we need you to tell us.
However, before you contact the Legal Ombudsman you must first register an official complaint with us. Normally, the Legal Ombudsman expects you to give us 8 weeks to try to resolve the matter. If after 8 weeks you are still dissatisfied you can then involve the Legal Ombudsman.
How do I make a complaint?
You can contact us in writing (by letter or email) or by speaking with our Principal, whose contact details are:
Mr. Selwan Yousif, Stephens & Son Solicitors, Rome House, 41 Railway Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4RP.
To help us to understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:
- your full name and contact details
- what you think we have got wrong
- what you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint, and
- your file reference number (if you have it)
How we will deal with your complaint?
1. We will record your complaint in our central register and send you a letter acknowledging your complaint within 5 working days. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. Typically this will be the complaints Partner although exceptionally he may allocate a member of the firm’s management in his place.
2. Our Complaints Partner will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps:
a. He will ask the partner or member of staff who acted for you to draft a reply to your complaint.
b. He will then examine your complaint and their draft reply. He may also speak to them and other staff involved with your assignment, and if necessary review your file(s) and correspondence, time records and other relevant documentation. We may also suggest a meeting with you to discuss and, we hope, resolve your complaint.
3. Our Complaints Partner will aim to finalise his investigation and respond to your complaint within 15 working days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement. This response may include suggestions for resolving the matter. If we need longer to investigate your complaint, we will contact you to confirm this and aim to complete our investigation within a further 10 working days. If the matter is particularly complex, we may write to you again to confirm any further extension. We will in any event provide you with a substantive response within 40 working days of receiving your complaint.
4. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. We will then arrange to review our decision, typically by a Partner sitting on our management committee.
5. We will let you know the result of that review within 10 working days confirming our final position on your complaint.
6. In the unlikely event that you should remain unsatisfied, The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales is available to members of the public, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within six years from the date of the act/omission about which you are concerned, or three years from when you should have known about the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman will usually only consider a complaint if our internal complaints procedure detailed above has been exhausted within the last six months. The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are as follows:
- Legal Ombudsman
- PO Box 6806
- WV1 9WJ
If you think a solicitor might be dishonest or you have concerns about their ethics or integrity, you also have the right to notify our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). There are no time limits for making a report but there are limits on what the SRA will consider. Please note that the SRA is not able to deal with issues of poor service (complaints of this nature should instead be referred to the Legal Ombudsman). For further information about the SRA’s role, please visit: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers.