Mayo Wynne Baxter Complaints Procedure
We value your business and do not wish you to have any reason to be unhappy with us. We are grateful to you for drawing your concerns to our attention. This helps us improve our standards.
What happens now?
1. In the first instance, please contact our Client Service Department. They can be contacted in the following ways:-
By e-mail – email@example.com
By telephone - 01273 407411
By post – Client Service Department, 3 Bell Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1JU
2. We will acknowledge your complaint in writing within seven days, but please note that our Complaints Procedure normally only applies to our clients, prospective clients and to beneficiaries in an estate.
3. The Client Service Team will take details of your complaint or review the details you have provided and discuss them with you, the Legal Adviser dealing with the matter, and if appropriate their Head of Department. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
4. The Client Service Team will then review the information and, on most occasions, the case file. They will then provide you with a substantive response to your complaint, with a suggested way forward under the supervision of the nominated Complaints Partner. If you accept that this resolves your complaint, this will be the end of the process, which we call a Stage One resolution. We would hope that most complaints are resolved at this stage.
5. If you remain unhappy with the initial response, we would offer you the opportunity to resolve the complaint using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) via Pro Mediate UK Limited The Legal Complaints Service, Brow Farm, Top Road, Frodsham WA6 6SP (www.promediate.co.uk). They are competent to deal with complaints about legal services, should you and we agree to use them. If you (and we) accept their proposed resolution, that would be the end of the process, which we call a Stage Two resolution. You do not have to agree to this ADR and can go straight to the Legal Ombudsman after you have received our substantive response at the conclusion of Stage One.
6. If you remain unhappy after ADR (or at the end of Stage One if you do not agree to the ADR), you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, the details of which are given below.
You have six months from the date of our final response in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman will only investigate complaints from certain categories of clients, prospective clients, and beneficiaries of an estate. Please see their website for further details.
Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman:
Address: PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Phone: 03005 550333
7. There would be no charge to you at any stage of the complaint investigation, including the appointment of the ADR firm, and any involvement of the Legal Ombudsman.
8. Timescales –
Stage One – within three weeks
Stage Two – within a further three weeks
Legal Ombudsman – they will provide you with an estimated timescale, which may vary according to the complexity of the complaint. We have no control over their timescale, save that we will comply, so far as possible, with requests made to us for information within the periods they set.
If for good reason we are unlikely to be able to complete any Stage within the periods mentioned above, we will inform you.
If you feel we have delayed unreasonably in responding to your complaint, you can complain direct to the Legal Ombudsman, but they will normally allow law firms up to 8 weeks to respond to complaints.
9. Time limits –
In respect of any issue which arises out of work we undertook after 5 October 2010, you have six years from the date of the act or omission to inform the Legal Ombudsman of the complaint or three years from when you should reasonably have known about it, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If you wish to complain to the Legal Ombudsman because you are dissatisfied with our response, you must contact them within six months of our Stage One substantive response.
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.
10. 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 do not have to be a client of this firm in order to be able to complain to the SRA.
11. This complaints procedure is designed to address complaints of inadequate service. If you think we have made a mistake, we may have to report this to our insurers. In that event we are sometimes obliged to discuss the matter with them before we can respond. At that stage you may be advised of the need to take advice from an independent solicitor, but we will, where possible, seek to put matters right. However, sometimes our professional rules deem it to be a conflict of interest if we advise further in situations where we are alleged to have made a mistake. If you make a claim against us because you believe we have made a mistake or have been negligent, this may affect your ability to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, whilst the claim is running.
12. If your complaint is about the amount, you have been charged, please note that you have the right to apply to the Court to have our invoice assessed, as set out on our invoices sent to you. This is a complex procedure on which we would suggest you seek independent advice.