We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days. We aim to respond in full within 21 days but if we cannot give you a full response within that time then we will let you know how long it is likely to take.
We will investigate your complaint by conducting an independent review of the matter file and the associated circumstances. We will not charge you for handling your complaint. We record all complaints in our central record.
We will contact you if we require further information and, where appropriate, may suggest a meeting or a telephone call to discuss your complaint.
Sometimes it may be appropriate for our Complaints Partner, or for Scottish Matters our Client Relations Manager, to arrange for another one of our partners, or our Operational Risk Director, to consider and respond to your complaint. You will be informed if this is the case.
We will respond to you in writing to set out our findings and, where necessary, details of how we propose to resolve your complaint.
Our overall aim is to resolve all complaints in an eight week period, hopefully to your satisfaction. If the complaint is not resolved within this timeframe, then you may have recourse to the Legal Ombudsman or to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.
If your complaint relates to a bill for work done on a matter and all or some of that bill has not been paid then we may be entitled to charge interest on the outstanding amount.
Alternative dispute resolution
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) organisations, such as Pro Mediate UK Limited (www.promediate.co.uk), exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. However, we have chosen not to adopt an ADR process because the Legal Ombudsman and, for Scottish matters only, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission already offer a service to resolve complaints. For this reason we do not consider that there is any benefit in seeking to use an alternative organisation.
How to complain if you are not our client
If you are not our client (for example, you are involved in a transaction where we are representing another party) we will only be able to deal with your complaint if you are alleging that we have breached the SRA professional conduct Principles or, for Scottish matters, the Law Society of Scotland professional standards. In any other situation, we will respond to let you know that we cannot deal with your complaint and that we will not be able to correspond further with you.
If you are involved in a matter we are dealing with and have your own legal representation, our professional rules require us to correspond with your representative. If you wish to submit a complaint we recommend that you liaise with your representative to do so.
Further information about our Complaints Policy is here.