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Complaints Policy & Procedure

We are committed to providing a quality legal service to all of our clients.  Consequently it is essential that when something goes wrong or any client believes they have reason to complain, that we have an effective procedure to assist in complete and early resolution of the problem. By doing so we hope to maintain the quality of service we provide.  The setting of minimum standards requires constant review of our performance especially where the client perceives that we have fallen into error.

The Procedure

Although not essential, in making your complaint it would be helpful to us if you could provide details of your concerns in writing (if you have not already done so).  If you would prefer not to have to do this, please arrange to see us and we will be pleased to take details from you.

What will happen next

  1. We will register your complaint on our Register (for monitoring and management information purposes).

Timescale:  Within 2 days of receipt of complaint.

  1. 2. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, set out our understanding of it and request you to confirm if that understanding is accurate or provide any necessary clarification. We will also confirm who will deal with your complaint.

Timescale: Within 3 days of receipt of complaint.

  1. We will then commence investigation of your complaint.This may involve one or more of the following steps: 
  1. We will ask the case worker who acted for you to provide us with a response to your complaint, as confirmed or clarified at stage 2.

 

Timescale:  Within 5 days of your response to stage 2 and if you do not respond within 14 days of the receipt of your complaint

 

  1. The firms client care officer will examine the response at a) above and the file as against your complaint and, if necessary, speak to the case worker.

 

Timescale:  Within 3 days of receipt of the response at stage 3 a) and no later then 17 days from receipt of the complaint

 

 

  1. The firm’s client care officer will then write to you with a detailed response and invite you to meet with us to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.

 

      Timescale: No later then 21 days from receipt of the complaint

 

  1. If a meeting between us takes place we will write to you to confirm what happened and, if appropriate, any agreed solution that was reached.

Timescale: Within 2 days of the meeting

  1. If a meeting is declined or is for some reason impractical we will write to you again in an effort to resolve the complaint to our mutual satisfaction.

Timescale: Within 5 days of a proposed meeting being declined, cancelled or a failure to respond to the invitation at stage 4

  1. If, at a meeting or from a written reply to our detailed written response, you remain dissatisfied with what we have said and how we propose resolving your complaint, we will arrange for our decision to be reviewed. This may happen in one of the following ways: –
  1. The client care officer conducting a review of his own handling of your complaint and why you are dissatisfied with our decision

Timescale: Within 5 days of your indication of dissatisfaction with the proposed resolution.

  1. By arranging for some one else in the firm who is entirely unconnected with the complaint to review how it was handled and the decision taken.

Timescale: Within 10 days of your indication of dissatisfaction with the proposed resolution.

  1. By asking our local law society or another local firm of solicitors to review our handling of, and the decision on, your complaint (if they are willing to do this).

Timescale: Within 10 days of your indication of dissatisfaction with the proposed resolution.

  1. After the review has taken place you will be informed of the outcome.

Timescale:  Within 5 days of the conclusion of the review.

We estimate that if your complaint proceeds through stages 1 to 8 this will take up to 8 weeks.

  1. 9. If you still remain dissatisfied with how your complaint has been handled and the decision on it, we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining why we consider our handling of it, and our decision (and the result of any review), were reasonable.  You would then be at liberty to contact the Legal Ombudsman, whose address is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.  Their telephone number is 0300 555 0333.  Their e-mail address is enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.  That organisation is the statutory body to whom you may refer your complaint, once we have concluded out professional obligation to try to resolve it. You can ask the Ombudsman to look at your complaint if it meets all 3 of the steps below:
  1. The problem or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010 ; and
  2. You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following:
    1. Six years of the problem happening; or
    2. Three years from when you found out about it;

and
3. You are referring your complaint to us within six months of your service provider’s final response.