Full Complaints Procedure
1. Andrew Skinner is a sole practitioner solicitor, trading as AM Skinner Solicitors (herein "I" or "me")
2. I am committed to providing a high-quality legal service.
3. I acknowledge that I may not always get it right, so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to my charges, I need you to tell me. This will help me to improve my standards of service.
4. How do you make a complaint?
4.1 You can contact me in writing (by letter or email) or by telephone.
4.2 I have full responsibility for the supervision of your matter. My contact details are shown in the client care letter I sent you at the beginning of the retainer.
4.3 To help me understand your complaint, and in order that I do not miss anything, please tell me:
4.3.1 your full name and contact details;
4.3.2 what you think I have got wrong;
4.3.3 how you would like your complaint to be resolved; and
4.3.4 your file reference number (if you have it).
4.4 If you require any help in making your complaint, then I will try to help you.
5. How will your complaint be dealt with?
5.1 I will write to you within three working days acknowledging your complaint, enclosing a copy of this policy.
5.2 I will investigate your complaint. This will usually involve:
5.2.1 reviewing your complaint;
5.2.2 reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documents; and
5.3 I may also need to ask you for further information or documents. If so, I will ask you to provide the information within a specific period of time.
5.4 I will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.
5.5 I 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. I will be happy to discuss the matter with you by telephone or video conference.
5.6 I will write to you at the end of my investigation to tell you what I have done and what I propose to do to resolve your complaint. Where possible, I will aim to do this within 28 days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement.
6. What to do if I cannot resolve your complaint
6.1 The Legal Ombudsman can help you if I am unable to resolve your complaint. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how I handle your matter.
6.2 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:
6.2.1 within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint;
6.2.2 no more than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
6.2.3 no more than one year from the date when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
6.3 If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 10.00 to 16.00
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
6.4 Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services. I have, however, chosen not to adopt an ADR process. If, therefore, you wish to complain further, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman.
7. What to do if you are unhappy with my behaviour
7.1 The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about my 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.
7.2 Visit its website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
8. What will it cost?
8.1 I will not charge you for handling your complaint.
8.2 Please note that if I have issued a bill for work done on the matter, and all or some of the bill is not paid, I may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding. This is explained in Terms of Business.
8.3 The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.