Our Complaints Policy
Client care and Customer service is fundamental to everything we do. We appreciate that the legal procedure including the process of seeking legal advice can be quite daunting. We therefore strive to make the process as straightforward and personable as we can. However, sometimes things may not go as expected and we welcome complaints and feedback as an opportunity to review and improve our service. If something is wrong, we are committed to fairly and transparently investigating it in order to resolve matters to your satisfaction.
We are committed to high quality legal advice and client care and are keen to resolve any concerns as soon as possible and in order to do this we will follow our complaints handling procedure.
Our Complaints Procedure
We will endeavour to resolve any issues or complaints for you as swiftly as possible. If our clients would like to discuss how the service to them could be improved, the level of their bill, or should there be any aspect of our service with which they are not satisfied, we ask them to please contact the person in our firm responsible for complaints handling: Suleman Shams (director). Ideally this should be in writing, detailing specifically the issues of concern you have, as this will ensure we address all issues in full. Mr Shams can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Shams Williams Solicitors, The CIBA Building, 146 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9NX.
You will need to make a complaint within the following time limits, which are in line with the current guidelines set by the Legal Ombudsman:
- Six year of the problem happening; or
- Three years from when you found out about (if it took place more than six years ago)
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
- This would be normally the head/supervisor of the relevant team. You can expect to receive our letter within one week of us receiving your complaint.
- We will record your complaint in our central register. We will do this as soon as it is practical after receiving your complaint.
We will then investigate your complaint; if necessary, we may contact you to request further information. The director may delegate the investigation if circumstances require it.
- We will send you a detailed reply to your complaint within two weeks of the acknowledgement letter being sent to you. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter.
- At this stage if you are still not satisfied you can contact us again. We will then arrange for our Complaints Director, Mr Suleman Shams to review your complaint and provide his response within 3 weeks.
This is the final stage of our complaints procedure. However external methods of resolution can be sought instead as set out below:
- You can contact the Legal Ombudsman, within 6 months of our final response. Your complaint should also be brought to the Legal Ombudsman no later than six years from when the problem occurred or three years from when you should reasonably have become aware of the problem.
- The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted by telephone on 0300 555 0333, by minicom on 0300 555 1777, by email at email@example.com or by post at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Please refer to the ‘scheme rules’ on the Legal Ombudsman website at legalombudsman.org.uk for information on your eligibility to take your complaint to the Ombudsman. Please do not send any original documents to the Legal Ombudsman. They will scan any documents you send to make computerised copies and then destroy the originals.
- You may wish to go to independent mediation.
- Alternative Complaints Handling Body: Under EU law, we are required to inform you that alternative complaints handling bodies exist which are able to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and we wish to use such a scheme. However, given that the decision of a mediator is not binding on you or us we see no benefit in this and it will be unusual for us to agree to a reference to such a body.
All of the timescales set out in this procedure are clearly subject to review depending on how quickly it takes each individual to receive the information they require. There may be unavoidable delays such as absences of colleagues on annual leave or sickness. You will be notified if the timescales as set out above cannot be met.
For further information, please contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or visit www.legalombudsman.org.uk. The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
Solicitors Regulation Authority:
If someone thinks a solicitor might be dishonest or you have concerns about their ethics or integrity, they have the right to notify our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). There are no time limits for making a report but there are limits on what the SRA will consider. Please note that the SRA is not able to deal with issues of poor service (complaints of this nature should instead be referred to the Legal Ombudsman). For further information about the SRA’s role, please contact the SRA or visit: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page#report