Our Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a good legal service to all our clients, and we are committed to treating our clients fairly. If you feel that something goes wrong, we want you to tell us about it.

Our complaints procedure

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received, or if you would like us to review our advice, please write to the person who is dealing with your matter first.

If you feel that is not appropriate, or if you are still dissatisfied, please contact Robert Williams. You can write to him at 5 Clifton Mews, Clifton Hill, Brighton, BN1 3HR; or email him at robert@familylawpartners.co.uk or telephone him on 01273 646903.

If your complaint is about Robert Williams, please contact Alan Larkin at alan@familylawpartners.co.uk or 01273 646902, or at the same address as above.

Please set out as clearly as you can the nature of your complaint and how it has arisen.

Procedural steps

1 Within 3 working days of receiving your complaint (i.e. excluding weekends and Bank Holidays) we will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint and, if necessary, asking you to confirm or explain the details of your complaint. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.

2 We will record your complaint in our central register, and open a file for your complaint.

3 We will examine the relevant file and if we need any information from you in order to investigate the complaint, we will request you to provide it.

4 If it seems appropriate, we will suggest a meeting with you to discuss the complaint with you and, if possible, to resolve it.

5 At the conclusion of our investigation, we shall send you a letter setting out our findings. If the matter has been resolved by a meeting between you and the person dealing with your complaint, our letter will confirm to you what took place and any solutions we agreed with you.

6 Our aim will be to conclude our investigation within 20 working days of receiving the complaint or, if we need more time before we can conclude our investigation, we shall write to you within that time to tell you of the likely timescale.

Review

7 If, after we have concluded our investigation and written to you, you are still not satisfied, you can write to ask us to review our response. We will then review our response. We may suggest an external individual or body (for example the Local Law Society) to review our response.

8 We may (but are not required to) invite you to agree to independent mediation, in which case we will let you know what this process involves and how long it may be expected to take.

9 Once these steps have been carried out, we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. We would generally aim to do this and write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request to us to review our response to your complaint. If the review is going to take longer, for example because further investigation is required or because we are inviting you to a mediation, we will write to you within that time to tell you of the likely timescale.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

10      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:

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

and

b) No more than six years from the date of the act/omission; or

c) No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

11      If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman please contact them:

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

12      The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about any non-service aspect of the firm. This includes any practice or regulatory issues, which you believe should be considered by the professional regulator of solicitors.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority at www.sra.org.uk.