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Complaints Handling Policy

Our Commitment

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need our clients to tell us about it. This will help improve our standards. Whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problems with the person acting on your case to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you. Often, matters can be quickly resolved in this way.

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact Mr Peter Yardley by post to 39 High Street, Wigton, Cumbria CA7 9PE, telephone 016973 43241 or email info@atkinsonritson.co.uk. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Mr Yardley, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
  3. You will be sent a detailed written reply, including suggestions for resolving the matter if appropriate, within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  4. On receipt of our letter, if you wish to discuss the matter in a meeting please let us know and we will make the necessary arrangements within the next seven days.
  5. If you do not want a meeting, or it is not possible and if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another Director within the firm to review the decision.
  6. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
  7. If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. Contact details are as follows:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

T: 0300 555 0333
E: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
W: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and within the following timescales:

  • Six years from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring, or
  • Three years from the date you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint.

If we have to change any of the above timescales we will let you know and explain why.

Alternative dispute resolution

Alternative complaints bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm consent to use such a scheme. In the event that you wish to use an alternative complaint body you should advise us and we will then state if we agree.

Complaints in relation to bills

The procedure above also applies to complaints arising concerning our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; The Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the Court for assessment of that bill.

Raising concerns with our regulator

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) 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 find information about raising your concerns with the SRA at www.sra.org.uk in the ‘For the public’ section.