Complaints Procedure

Complaints

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure as set out below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What to do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint

and

  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them using the following details.

Contact details

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Our Complaints Procedure

Here at Phillips we strive to provide you with the best service possible. If however, for any reason, you are unhappy with the service or the bill you have received from us please do not hesitate to contact the person dealing with your matter and we will work with them to remedy any problems or concerns you may have.

If they are unable to settle your complaint or if you are unhappy speaking to them, then you should contact the Client Care Manager, Max Hope, informing him who is acting for you and what your complaint is about. You can get in touch with Max by calling 01256 854654 or emailing max.hope@phillips-law.co.uk

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

We will then send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the details set out.

We will record your complaint in our central register. The Client Care Manager will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps:

  • The Client Care Manager will ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to him about your complaint within five working days and send him the matter file.
  • The Client Care Manager will then examine the reply and the information you gave relating to your complaint and, if necessary, he may also speak to you or to the member of staff involved again.
  • The Client Care Manager will then either write to you or telephone you and hopefully resolve your complaint or invite you to a meeting to discuss it with him. He will do this within the shortest time possible taking into account the information required, but in any event within eight weeks of receiving your complaint.
  • If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, the Client Care Manager will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter.  He will do this as soon as possible after completing the investigation. If you do have a meeting, the Client Care Manager will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
  • At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you should contact him again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways-
  • Another Director of the Company will review the Client Care Manager’s decision within 10 days.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction or within eight weeks of it being made, you may have the right to refer it to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from Phillips about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). For further information, the Legal Ombudsman can be contacted using the details shown previously.

If we have to change any of the above timescales, we will let you know and explain why.

Please note before contacting the Legal Ombudsman;

  1. If your complaint is specifically about our bill, you have the right to object to it and apply for an assessment of it under part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you should choose to exercise this right, and the court is assessing our bill, you may be unable to use the Legal Ombudsman service.
  2. If you are complaining as a business client, unless you are a “micro business” (as defined by the European Union), you may not be able to use the Legal Ombudsman scheme, and should check the guidance on Legal Ombudsman’s website.
  3. If you refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman as a trustee/personal representative (executor/administrator) or beneficiary of the estate/trust of a person who, before they died, had not referred the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman the period runs from when the deceased should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint; and when the complainant (or the deceased) should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint will be assessed on the basis of the complainant’s (or deceased’s) own knowledge, disregarding what the complainant (or the deceased) might have been told if he/she had sought advice.

If the ombudsman considers there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious illness or you were still within the time limits when you made your initial complaint to them) then he/she may extend any of the above time limits to the extent that he/she considers fair.