Complaints Policy - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

We are committed to providing high quality legal services to all our clients. Dealing effectively with any concerns is part of that service and also helps us to continuously improve our standards. Whilst we sincerely hope you never have cause for complaint if something does go wrong, including in relation to our bill, we need you to tell us as soon as possible.

This Complaints Policy applies to legal services provided by Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP including any concerns about our professional conduct or potential breach of either the Solicitors Regulation Authority professional conduct rules or the Law Society of Scotland professional standards.

If your complaint relates to financial planning, investment advice or any other financial services provided by Womble Bond Dickinson Wealth Limited then please refer to its Complaints Policy. If you are not sure which policy to refer to, please speak to your Relationship Partner or the contact named in your engagement letter.

Our complaints process is overseen by our General Counsel and Complaints Partner, Nicki Shepherd, who is supported by our Risk and Best Practice Team. For matters including Scottish legal advice or one of our Scottish qualified solicitors (a Scottish matter), our Client Relations Manager is Philip Knight.

How do I complain?

  1. The first step is to either write or speak to the person who is dealing with your matter, or your Relationship Partner (whose details will be in your engagement letter).
  2.  If you are not satisfied with our response at Step 1, or, if you do not wish to refer your complaint to your Relationship Partner, then you should contact us by email at complaints@wbd-uk.com. To help us understand your complaint please tell us what you think we have got wrong and what you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint.

Further information about how we will deal with your complaint and alternative dispute resolution is available here.

Making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

If you are not happy with the outcome of our complaints procedure, you may be able to make a complaint to either the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) or, if it relates to a Scottish matter, to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC). The services offered by these bodies are free of charge and either body will look at your complaint independently. A referral to either body will not affect how we handle your matter. Both bodies usually require that a firm’s complaints procedure has been exhausted before it will consider a complaint. If they are satisfied that a firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, they may decline to investigate further.

LeO

LeO deals with service complaints from members of the public and very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. Any complaint to LeO must usually be made within six months of the end of our final written response to your complaint and within six years of the date of the alleged act or omission about which you are complaining, or within three years of you becoming aware of it. Please contact LeO for more information on the time scales for making a complaint.

If you would like more information about LeO or the time scales that will apply to your complaint please contact them: visit: legalombudsman.org.uk; call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00; email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk; or write to Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.

SLCC

For matters including Scottish legal advice or one of our Scottish qualified solicitors you can refer your complaint to the SLCC. The SLCC applies strict time limits to its acceptance of complaints which vary from one to three years depending on either the type of complaint and when you were last provided with a service in connection with the matter you wish to complain about or when the conduct took place. You can find information about the time limits which apply on the SLCC website.

If you would like more information about the SLCC or the time scales that will apply to your complaint please contact them: visit: scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk; call: 0131 201 2130 between 9.00 to 17.00; email: enquiries@scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk; or write to The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EH.

Reporting concerns about professional conduct

If your complaint relates to concerns about professional conduct and you are not happy with the outcome of our complaints procedure, you can report conduct concerns to either the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or, if it relates to a Scottish matter, to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC).

SRA

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The SRA can help you, or take action, if a solicitor, a regulated firm or a member of its staff has breached the SRA Principles. You can report concerns about professional conduct to the SRA, information about how to do this is on its website at sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor. To contact the SRA: call: 0370 606 2555, between 9.00 to 17.00; email: report@sra.org.uk; or write to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN.

SLCC

For matters including Scottish legal advice or one of our Scottish qualified solicitors, complaints relating to professional conduct can be reported to the SLCC. The procedure for making a complaint to the SLCC is explained above.

July 2020