We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to sort out any mistakes or misunderstandings, and to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint, please raise the problem with the lawyer responsible for your matter, or if you prefer, the Principal, Meg Kirby. A complaint could relate to the standard of work or service carried out on your behalf, and/or the bill of costs presented to you for payment.
What will happen next?
- We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within three days of receiving it.
- We will then investigate your complaint as part of our first-tier complaints process. This will normally involve the Principal reviewing your file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you.
- Within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter, the Principal will invite you to a meeting to discuss and resolve your complaint. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, the Principal may instead offer you a chance to discuss the matter by telephone.
- Within three days of the meeting, or any telephone conversation we have with you instead of a meeting, the Principal will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.
- In any case, the Principal will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint; including her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the written acknowledgement of your complaint referred to in paragraph 1 above.
- If you are still not satisfied upon the conclusion of the first-tier process, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman. Please note that there are eligibility requirements.
Their contact details are:
The Legal Ombudsman will usually expect you to have given the firm an opportunity to resolve your complaint.
Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of your receiving a final written response from us regarding your complaint and six years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint. Alternatively, three years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint.
- In any event, in the above situation, we will write to you in the following terms: “We have been unable to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process. You have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007, which deals with legal services complaints. You have six months from the date of this [our final letter] in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman [contact details]. Alternative complaints bodies (ProMediate; Ombudsman Services) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and Kirbys Solicitors wish to use such a scheme. We do/do not agree to use: [include name of scheme].
- We will advise you as soon as possible of any change to the above timetable.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) based at The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN (telephone number 0370 606 2555) acts as the professional regulator of solicitors and law firms. Whilst it is not able to deal with issues of poor service, it can help you, or take action, if you have concerns about the firm’s or solicitor’s behaviour. For example, fraud, dishonesty, or the breaching of SRA rules. A report can be sent to the SRA Reports Team by completing a report form, which can be accessed on its website: www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.