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Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure

1. At Bates Solicitors we endeavour to manage our business to the highest professional standard and to provide the best standards of service to every client. Dealing effectively with any concerns is an important part of our service. If you believe our services to you as a client have fallen below these standards we ask you to tell us. We need to thoroughly investigate your concerns and take any necessary action to resolve the matter to your satisfaction and to maintain continuous improvement to our services overall.

2. There are three stages to our complaints procedure: informal discussion, formal investigation by Department Head, independent review by our Complaints Officer. At each stage we will do our best to investigate your concerns thoroughly, ensure that any remedial action is taken as quickly as possible and keep you informed throughout of the progress and result of our investigation and the action being taken.  It is our wish to actively engage with you so that most concerns can be immediately resolved at the first informal stage. However there is a formal investigatory process in place should you remain dissatisfied.

3. INFORMAL DISCUSSION: In the first instance, if you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about our bill, we would invite you to discuss the matter informally with the person responsible for the day to day conduct of the matter or, if you prefer, the Department Head. It would help us if you provide full details of your concerns. It will usually be better at this stage to talk to us on the telephone or if you prefer at a meeting. We will take a careful note of your concerns and will investigate the matter. We will do all we can to resolve the matter to your satisfaction.

4. FORMAL COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION: If we are unable to resolve your complaint informally, then you may make a formal complaint in writing which should be addressed to the person responsible for the Department which will either be the Department Head or in extremis some other nominated person. The Department Head (or other person) will acknowledge your complaint within three working days, will review the file and respond to you in writing as soon as possible and will aim to do so within 2 weeks of receipt of your written complaint. We may ask to meet with you if it seems that this may help to resolve the matter.

5. INDEPENDENT REVIEW: Most complaints will be resolved at the first or second stage, but if you remain dissatisfied then your complaint will be referred to the Complaints Officer of the firm, Michele Noy for review. Ms Noy, or a delegate appointed by her, will review the complaint and will respond to you initially within two weeks. In certain circumstances we may require additional time to consider and respond to the issues raised but we shall advise you of any additional time we may need subject to an overall 8 week time limit.

6. If either at the end of the eight week time limit or when our response is final, you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ (Tel: 0300 555 0333; Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk) to consider the complaint.  Normally you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and within 6 years of the act or omission about which you are complaining having occurred (or within 3 years of your becoming aware of it).

You can also raise concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) if you think we have breached an SRA Principle. The SRA Principles govern our behaviour and details can be found at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/principles. The SRA can be contacted at:

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Cube, 199 Wharf Street, Birmingham B1 1RN

Telephone: 0370 606 2555 (or) (+44 (0) 121 329 6800 for international callers)

Nominee for Complaints:

Residential conveyancing:

Isobel MacDonald, 43 Essex Street, London WC2R 3JF
Tel:  0207 936 2930
Email: ikmacdonald@batessolicitors.co.uk

Private Client:

Mrs Nicola Browett, Sanctuary House, Barnwells Court,   High Street, Hartley Wintney RG27 8AY
Tel: 01252 844443
Email: nbrowett@batessolicitors.co.uk

Family, Litigation and Employment:

Mr Ian MacDonald, 43 Essex Street, London WC2R 3JF
Tel:  0207 936 2930
Email: imacdonald@batessolicitors.co.uk

Company and Commercial Matters:

Mr Ian MacDonald, 43 Essex Street, London WC2R 3JF
Tel:  0207 936 2930
Email: imacdonald@batessolicitors.co.uk

 Independent Complaints Officer:

Ms Michele Noy, Phillips House, Station Road, Hook RG27 9HD
Email: mnoy@batessolicitors.co.uk