Please read our Benchmark of Quality statement below.
You are entitled to expect;
- your work to be handled attentively, promptly and skillfully by staff who have appropriate knowledge and experience and a proper level of supervision, any necessary change in personnel to be notified and explained to you in advance.
- if that work is not being dealt with by a Partner you will be given the name of the Partner who supervises the work that is being done on your behalf and that you can raise with that person any serious matter of concern as they will have ultimate responsibility to you for that work.
- appropriate advice and guidance based upon our professional skills, knowledge and experience; to be counselled against any course of action which, in our opinion, would be ill advised; positive suggestions and relevant action to help you achieve your objectives.
- where appropriate a clear analysis of the situation you are facing and consideration of the options available and recommendation of a cost effective course of action.
- clear information relating to our charges including our hourly rates, any disbursements we are able to anticipate and our best estimate (regularly updated) of the fees you are likely to incur, or where appropriate an estimate or quotation for the entire matter, with full breakdowns and explanations of our invoices on request.
- regular clear information regarding the progress of your transaction and prompt responses to your enquiries or concerns with all communication in concise, straightforward, non technical language.
- no action that might affect your position, to be taken without your authority.
- a prompt response to your written communications or telephone calls and personal attendance when necessary upon the person handling your work.
- efficiency and courtesy in all our dealings with you.
- strict confidentiality in respect of all information about you and our work for you.
- consultation and advice on the appointment of any barrister, expert or other agent who will be involved in your case and on the fees that will be incurred.
- prompt accounting for all money received on your behalf and payment of interest in accordance with the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules.
All partners and staff will have the qualifications, experience and training appropriate to the work they undertake. All partners and staff will be kept up to date with law and practice and current developments in their specialist fields. There is individual partner responsibility for the quality of all work which we undertake.
Where appropriate work is handled within teams whose members have the necessary skills so that continuity of action and communication is assured. The practice is organised into departments for each main category of work; regular departmental meetings are held and there is a structured system of supervision, appraisal, continuing professional development and training, and mutual support and sharing of ideas, experience and knowledge.
In addition to appropriate supervision of work there is a centrally-operated file review system. Staff at all levels are actively encouraged to acquire new skills, take pride in their work, be comfortable with responsibility and to undergo relevant training. All staff are fully conversant with the technological support utilised by the practice and fully exploit it to provide an efficient and economic service to clients. We have a formal procedure for dealing with any complaint made by a client about any shortfall in quality that comes to the attention of the practice. This procedure has been accepted by all partners and staff and has strict rules with regard to timing and the involvement of the individuals concerned.
What You Should Do If We Don't Meet Our Benchmark Of Quality
If you have any complaint about the service we have provided would you please in the first instance seek to resolve it, if appropriate, with the person who is handling your case. If the issue is not then resolved to your satisfaction please send your complaint in writing to the Partner supervising the work (if different from the person handling) or to the Complaints Handling Partner in our Southampton office.
Procedure and timing:
- Your initial complaint will be responded to in writing within three working days (or if more time is required you will be told when to expect the reply).
- If not satisfied with this response then address your complaint in writing to the Complaints Handling Partner in our Southampton office who will acknowledge your letter by return and reply in detail within five working days (or tell you if more time is required).
- In the event that the Complaints Handling Partner is not able to resolve matters to your complete satisfaction (or at any time) you may refer your complaint, subject to a time limit of six months from the firm having notified you, in writing, of its final decision to : Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ • Telephone 0300 555 0333 • www.legalombudsman.org.uk
They will attempt to resolve the problem by conciliation but if this is not successful will issue a formal adjudication.
Please note there are important time limits for complaints:
- We are not required to deal with a complaint about poor service that is first made to us:
(a) six years from the date of act/omission; or
(b) three years from the date the complainant should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago).
The Legal Ombudsman will not usually deal with a complaint first made after that time.
- You must make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than six months following our ceasing to deal with your complaint.
- Subject to the above time limits you may refer your complaint at any time to the Legal Ombudsman (although that organisation will normally ask you first to conclude the practice complaints procedure).
- This information applies to complaints about poor service and there are other time limits which apply where you wish to make a claim in which you have suffered loss and damage as a result of our negligence.