1. Service Standard and Complaints Handling
Carter Read & Dove Solicitors LLP (CRD) are committed to providing high quality legal advice and client care and so we hope you will be delighted with our service. However, if you are unhappy about any aspect of the service or bill that you have received from us and are unable to resolve the issue directly with the Solicitor concerned, then you are invited to raise your issue directly with Stephen Dove who is one of CRD’s Partners (or, if the complaint is about Stephen Dove, with Bob Carter who is the Firm’s other Partner). Your complaint may be made verbally but it is always helpful if complaints are put in writing - either by post to our Swindon office address, or by email, or by fax – and marked ‘Client Complaint’. If (perhaps due to a disability) you are unable to put your complaint in writing then please let this be known to us and we will then endeavour to work with you and/or your advocate to make reasonable adjustments to our procedures to understand and deal with your complaint.
We have a complaints procedure in place which details how we handle complaints and you can obtain that by contacting us and asking for a copy. In any event, we will provide you with details of that procedure when we receive a complaint from you.
We shall endeavour to resolve any complaints internally, hopefully to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. However, if within this time we have been unable to resolve your concerns internally, you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (‘LO’). Similarly, if you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the LO to consider the complaint. The LO’s website and contact details are: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ (Tel. 0300 555 0333)
Normally, you will need to bring any such complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us 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). However, there are limitations to the Legal Ombudsman scheme, so please note that some clients may not have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, for example:
- Businesses that have 10 or more employees OR have over 2 million Euros in assets;
- charities or clubs with an annual income of more £1m, or
- trustees of trust with asset value of more than £1m
Even if you do fall within one of the above excepted categories, you still have the right to complain to us under our own complaints procedure as well as the right to seek an assessment of our bill.