We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need our clients to tell us about it. This will help improve our standards. Whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problems with the person acting on your case to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you. Often, matters can be quickly resolved in this way.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact the Supervisor with overall responsibility for your case by email. If you are unable to email us then you can write to us at Halliday Reeves Solicitors, Boho Zero, 21 Gosford Street, Middlesbrough TS2 1BB. The relevant Supervisor is named in the client care letter sent at the start of your case.
Our Supervisors will always try and resolve any correspondence received informally at first.
If they are unable to do so they will pass the matter on to our Office Manager who will similarly again try to resolve the matter informally with you.
If this remains not possible or if any point you wish for the matter to be dealt with formally then please ask for us to do so and our formal complaint procedure below will commence.
What will happen next?
1. On receipt of your request advising you wish to formally complain, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt and enclosing a copy of this procedure and our complaints questionnaire for completion. Your complaint will normally be passed to our Complaints Manager, Victoria Guyatt, who has overall responsibility for the investigation of your complaint. If your complaint relates to Victoria Guyatt, then it will be investigated by Mark Reeves. The questionnaire allows us to identify and properly investigate your concerns. It is important that you respond to this fully with as much detail as possible.
2. We will then begin our investigation of your complaint upon receipt of your completed questionnaire. We will review your response and acknowledge receipt within 5 working days. It may be we ask you to provide us with a little more information at this stage to help us with this.
3. The Complaints Manager will ask the member of our team who acted for you in the matter to reply to the complaint, where practical, within 5 working days from our acknowledgment of your complaint questionnaire.
4. The Complaints Manager will then examine their reply and the information in the complaint file. If necessary, they may also speak to them. They may come back to you with further questions during this time if they feel you can assist them with the investigation at this stage. This will take up to 15 working days from receiving their reply so within 25 working days of receiving your completed questionnaire.
5. We will then send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter. We will do this within 5 working days of completing the investigation.
6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will involve another Solicitor member of the Management Team reviewing the initial decision and providing you with the results of this review within 10 working days from your request for a review.
7. If we have not heard from you within 15 working days from either sending you a questionnaire, email requesting further information, detailed reply or results of any review we will consider the complaint to be resolved and will close our file accordingly.
Please note it may be that in certain circumstances, we ask an independent lawyer to assist in any part of this investigation. If we decide to do this, we will notify you in advance. Such decision is in our complete discretion and at our expense.
If we have to change any of the above timescales we will let you know and explain why. Please note that in certain circumstances e.g. where the case is complex or where the fee earner is absent from work, the timescales outlined above may have to be reviewed. If this is the case then we will propose a revised timetable to you.
In addition, please note that if you are unable to use email, then all correspondence will be sent by us via Royal Mail (2nd class) and an additional 3 days allowance will be made accordingly.
The Legal Ombudsman
We have 8 weeks to consider your complaint. If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, or if we have not resolved it within eight weeks, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. We would hope that this does not become necessary and that we can resolve matters between ourselves. Contact details are as follows:
PO Box 6806
The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned, or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.
Raising concerns with our regulator
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) 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 find information about raising your concerns with the SRA at: www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor
Complaints in relation to bills
The complaints procedure also includes complaints arising concerning our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; and that if all, or part, of a bill remains unpaid, the firm may be entitled to charge interest. The Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the Court for assessment of that bill.