This Complaints Handling Procedure tells you how we will deal with your complaint and how long it is likely to take. It also provides important information about what you can do if you are not happy with the way in which we are dealing with your complaint, or about our final decision. Our Complaints Policy contains further information about what you can expect from us when you make a complaint.
Designated Complaints Handler
If you have any concerns about our service, our work, or our charges, you should discuss these first with the individual who has day-to-day control of your matter.
If this person cannot satisfactorily address your concerns and you wish to make a complaint, please contact our Designated Complaints Handler.
You can write to Amin Ullah at Applebys Solicitors Ltd, Intake House, Intake Road, Bradford, BD2 3JR or send an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step One: Acknowledging your Complaint
Within two working days of receiving your complaint, your complaint will be recorded in our Complaints Register and a separate file will be opened in which we will store any correspondence and other documents relating to your complaint. Within two working days we will also send you a letter acknowledging your complaint.
If your complaint relates to our refusing to act for you, we may in our discretion decide to follow this complaints procedure, even though we may not be required to do so. However, if we do follow this complaints procedure, it is on the basis that it is not intended to negate, or cast any doubt, on any evidence or other legitimate reasons or arguments we may rely on for having refused to act and is ‘without prejudice’ to them.
Step Two: Investigating your Complaint
We will aim to review your file(s) and any other relevant documentation as soon as possible and send you a letter telling you how we propose to deal with your complaint. Examples of what we might say in this letter are as follows:
- If your complaint is straightforward, we might make suggestions as to how we can put things right or we may offer you some form of redress;
- If your complaint is more complicated we might ask you to confirm, explain or clarify any issues;
Whichever form our investigation takes, we will aim to give you our final decision within eight weeks of receiving your complaint (or sooner if possible).
Step Three: Appealing against our Final Decision
If you are not satisfied with our final decision, please let us know and we will review our decision again. We will let you know the result of any appeal within five working days of receiving your appeal.
Step Four: The Legal Ombudsman
If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint provided you do so within six months of the end of our internal complaints procedure if you are still not satisfied with the outcome and within 3 years of becoming aware of the issue and in any event no later than 6 years after the act or omission giving rise to your complaint.
Ordinarily, you cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless you have first attempted to resolve your complaint using our internal Complaints Handling procedure, but you will be able to contact the Legal Ombudsman if:
- The complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks of first making the compliant to us; or
- The Legal Ombudsman decides that there are exceptional reasons why the Legal Ombudsman should consider your complaint sooner, or without you having to use our internal Complaints Handling Procedure first; or
- The Legal Ombudsman considers that your complaint cannot be resolved using our internal Complaints Handling Procedure because the relationship between you and us has broken down irretrievably.
If you wish to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, you must be one of the following:
- An individual;
- A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
- A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or
- A personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
Legal Ombudsman Contact Details:
Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
Telephone: 0300 555 0333