Graham & Co Complaints Procedure

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here.

23.1 Fee Earner Action

Whether the complaint is spoken or in writing the Director must be informed immediately.

A record of the complaint will be kept in the complaints file and stored in a readily accessible place.

23.2 The Managing Director

The above will note the complaint and within a reasonable time check through the clients file. The complaint will then be discussed with the relevant fee earner. The client will then be contacted. The above will then listen to the clients’ complaint and then offer, in his view, the possible forms of resolution.

When dealing with complaints, wherever possible all complaints should be resolved internally.

Procedure:

ensure we respond quickly:

  • personally talk to the client on the telephone or invited client into the office for a face-to-face meeting
  • use plain language
  • rectify the complaint as quickly as possible
  • if the complaint is justified deal with the client professionally and with due respect
  • write to the client stating the company’s final response.

23.3 Complaints may be resolved by:

  • an explanation of what has occurred and why
  • an apology either in person or in writing
  • the clients file been handed to another fee earner
  • if privately funded a reduction in the fee.

23.4 Recording Complaints

a written complaint rerecorded note in the following details:

  • client name
  • file matter
  • unique file number and other relevant information
  • nature of the complaint
  • What contact has been made with the client
  • choices of resolution offered
  • outcome
  • possible procedural changes necessary to improve services

23.5 Client not satisfied

if after all reasonable steps have been taken the client is still not happy, the client will be informed of his right to refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman as detailed in our client care letter.

23.6 Review of complaints file

The Managing Director will review the file regularly, this will be done in conjunction with our external consultant to conduct our file reviews. If there are signs of similar problems emerging action will be taken to avoid such problems with future clients.

The director will place a form on the file identifying similar problems, and any remedial action taken.

23.7 Complaints

Our definition of a complaint is;

"any expression of dissatisfaction to which a client or other person would reasonably expect a response or by which it is clear that a system or procedure may not be ineffective operation – such expression can be face-to-face, by letter, by email or over the telephone"

Information about who to contact there is a problem is given at the outset of the case within our client care letter.

All staff are aware of the definition of a complaint and that they are not necessarily in writing.

When a complaint arises, it will be referred to the Managing Director to record.

The Managing Director will respond to the complainant within three days of receipt of complaint into the office.

Except in exceptional circumstances this will be a substantive response and not merely an acknowledgement.

The office systems and procedures are reviewed to prevent a similar complaint in the future, and consideration of training needs analysis must take place in the event of fault being attributed to a member of staff.

23.8 Client Satisfaction

at the conclusion of all public funded work we will send a client satisfaction questionnaire to the client with a stamped addressed envelope provided. Upon their return these to be looked at and filed by director to see if there are any immediate concerns in relation to the feedback that need to be addressed. The client satisfaction questions will be reviewed annually and if there are any particular trends are identified, common issues and training needs, these will be addressed by the directors.

The Managing Director reviews all returned questionnaires and input the details onto a dedicated spreadsheet.

Any negative responses will be treated as complaints and dealt with according to the above procedure.

Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint

and

  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Contact details

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

For additional information on the areas we cover, please contact us or call us on 01227 918436 / 0871 915 2468.

Contact Details

01227 918436
0871 915 2468
07808 519245 – 24hr Mobile

enquiries@grahamsolicitors.co.uk

34 Mortimer Street
Herne Bay
Kent
CT6 5PH

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