Complaints will include but not be limited to expressions of client dissatisfaction with the conduct of a file or the behaviour or professional competence of the solicitors (no other staff being employed). Complaints from third parties will also fall within the definition.
Upon receipt of a complaint Mr Northern, who is the Complaints Officer, will be responsible for recording the complaint in a complaint register.
As soon as practical, the complainant will be contacted by the Complaints Officer by telephone or in writing as appropriate. If no immediate response can be given, the complainant will be informed as such and a timescale for the full appropriate response will be given.
If the complaint is about the behaviour of the Mr Northern, the above step will be undertaken by an appropriate professional person appointed by the Complaints Officer.
In the event that a complaint cannot be resolved by negotiation, advice will be taken on how the matter can be resolved by mediation, by for example, an independent solicitor or an independent person operating within the relevant business sector. If advising a client that no agreement can be reached over their complaint, the complainant will be informed in writing that they have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the date of that letter. Only consumer clients and micro-businesses are able to access the Legal Ombudsman Service.
Any complaint involving an allegation of a breach of a solicitor’s professional obligation will be reported to the appropriate department of The Solicitors Regulation Authority by the reporting Complaints Officer.
Mike Northern Legal
Revised – 27 November 2018