Complaints Procedure

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service and to dealing with all our clients fairly. We acknowledge that we may not always get it right so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to the bill, we need you to tell us.

How do I make a complaint?
You can contact us in writing (by letter, fax or email) or by speaking with our complaints Partner, whose contact details are:

Andrew Wright,
Managing Partner
Clarkson Wright & Jakes Ltd
Valiant House
12 Knoll Rise
Orpington
Kent BR6 0PG

Email: andrew.wright@cwj.co.uk

Tel:  01689 887804
Fax: 01689 887888

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 and
• what you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint

How will you deal with my complaint?
We will record your complaint centrally.

We will write to you within three working days acknowledging your complaint, enclosing a copy of this policy.
We will investigate your complaint. This will usually involve:

• reviewing your complaint
• reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documents, and
• speaking with the person who dealt with your matter

We may also need to ask you for further information or documents. If so, we will ask you to provide the information within a specific period of time.

We will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.

We may also, if appropriate, invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint. You do not have to attend if you do not wish to or if you are unable to. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you on the telephone.

We will write to you at the end of our investigation to tell you what we have done and what we propose to do to resolve your complaint. We will aim to do this within 21 days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement.

What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?
If you are unhappy with the outcome of our complaints handling procedure, please first let us know and we will review the matter.

If you are still unhappy, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to look into your complaint. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman:

• by post at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
• by telephone: 0300 555 0333, or
• by email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Whilst individuals have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, certain others do not. In normal circumstances, the Legal Ombudsman expects you to allow us eight weeks to try to resolve your complaint before contacting them, and complaints should be made within six months of the date of the conclusion of our own complaints procedure. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside this period, within 3 years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). For more information on complaint procedures, you can download the Legal Ombudsman’s leaflet called “Making a complaint” from the Legal Ombudsman’s website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.

Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate (www.promediate.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. We have, however, chosen not to adopt an ADR process. If, therefore, you wish to complain further, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint, and it relates to a contract we entered into online or by other electronic means, you may also be able to use the ODR platform established by The European Commission for resolving complaints (Art. 14 of EU Regulation No 524/2013) and submit your complaint to a certified alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider in the UK.

The ODR platform is an interactive website offering a single point of entry for disputes between consumers and traders relating to online contracts. The ODR platform can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/

What will it cost?
We will not charge you for handling your complaint. Please note that if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter, and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding.

The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.

The ODR platform itself is free to use, but the ADR entity to which the complaint is transmitted may charge for its service. The ADR entity is responsible for informing all parties of the cost of its dispute resolution procedure.

A different complaints procedure applies in relation to our notarial work, although the Legal Ombudsman can also be contacted as above if we are unable to resolve your complaint.