Background

Complaints Procedure

We want to give you the best possible service.

However, if at any point you become unhappy with the service we have provided you, or you have any concerns, then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem for you. We ask that you contact the lawyer dealing with your matter in the first instance.

If still not resolved to your satisfaction, please contact the Department Manager identified in our initial confirmation of instructions letter to you or alternatively email the Complaints Team at complaints@coodes.co.uk. Please bear in mind that we will not be able to comment in detail until our investigations are complete. A hard copy of this complaint handling procedure is available on request.

Receipt of your complaint

On receipt of your complaint, we will:

  1. Aim to send you a letter acknowledging your complaint within 2 working days, and if appropriate we will ask you to clarify or explain the complaint further.
  2. Record your complaint in our central register.
  3. Then or on receipt of the further information if requested, investigate your complaint, examine the relevant file and speak with members of staff as appropriate.
  4. Thereafter write, telephone, or arrange a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint or to seek further clarification from you. We aim to respond to you within 21 days of our acknowledgement letter, but please bear in mind that in some cases our investigations may take longer. (If at that stage you are still not satisfied, please let us know and we will arrange for a Senior Partner or if more appropriate, another partner in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint, to review the position).
  5. Write to you again after receiving your request for a review, setting out our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. We will also give you the address of the Legal Ombudsman. If you remain dissatisfied, you may contact them about your complaint, but we very much hope that will not be the case.

Whilst we are committed to being a progressive and efficient provider of legal services to all our clients, occasionally mistakes are made and on occasion it proves difficult to meet our clients’ expectations. We hope to learn from our mistakes and correct them if we can. If there has been any misunderstanding, we hope to identify how that has happened and to adjust our procedures to avoid a reoccurrence. We will usually be able to accept responsibility if we have caused any avoidable inconvenience or costs, but if a financial loss has been suffered as a consequence of our actions or omissions, we will need to consider whether that should be a matter for direct compensation or whether it is a claim which should be dealt with by our insurers, and sometimes it may be necessary for us to obtain the consent of our insurers before we can admit liability.

If we cannot resolve your complaint

If we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves, The Legal Ombudsman can help you. They will look at your complaint independently and this will not affect how we handle your case. This applies if you are an individual, a business with fewer than 10 employees and turnover or balance sheet not exceeding €2 million (£1.7 million), a charity or trust with a net income of less than £1m, or if you fall within certain other categories (you can find out more from the Legal Ombudsman website about eligibility).

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. They allow us 8 weeks to consider your complaint and respond to you although we aim to provide a response within 21 days. Please note that there are time restrictions for you to do this. You should contact the Ombudsman:

  • within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and
  • one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
  • one year from the date when the complainant should have realised that there was cause for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman contact details are as follows:

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. If you feel that we may have been dishonest or treated you unfairly because of your age, disability or other characteristic, then please refer to its website: http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page

Complaints about your bill

If you wish to challenge your bill you have the right to do so by using this complaints procedure. You may be entitled to have our charges reviewed by a court by applying for an assessment under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. You should note that the Legal Ombudsman may not deal with a complaint about your bill if you have already applied to a court.

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