Our Complaints Policy
Percy Hughes & Roberts is committed to delivering high-quality legal services to both individual and commercial clients. We make every effort to satisfy the reasonable expectations of our clients, but there may be occasions when we are perceived to have failed in this objective.
When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
These procedures comply with the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct and the expectations of the Legal Ombudsman
Our complaints procedure
Our complaints procedure is in three steps.
- In the first instance, a complaint should be referred to the fee earner responsible for the conduct of your affairs. The fee earner will endeavour to resolve any problem and should confirm the position to you in writing.
- If you are not satisfied that the fee earner has resolved the matter satisfactorily you may refer the matter to the partner who has overall responsibility for the department in which the fee earner works. That partner will investigate any such complaint. The partner will report the outcome of the enquiries to you in writing. If any steps are necessary, the partner will put those steps in hand.
- If, notwithstanding the procedures set out above, you still feel that there is a basis for complaint you may make a formal complaint to the Client Care partner. All formal complaints are to be notified to the Client Care partner in writing and your co-operation will be necessary and expected.
Formal complaint to the Client Care partner. What will happen next?
- In the event the matter has not already been referred to the fee earner dealing with the matter and/ or the partner with overall responsibility for the matter, the Client Care partner may refer the matter to the relevant fee earner or partner for attention. You will be notified of this.
- Subject to 1. above, when a formal written complaint is received by the Client Care partner she will, within 3 working days, send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details.
- She will then record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint.
- She will then investigate your complaint by examining the relevant file and, as necessary, discussing the matter with the relevant fee earner.
- She will write to you within 8 weeks of her initial letter to you setting out her views on the situation and any redress that is felt to be appropriate. If she considers it necessary she will invite you to meet her to discuss the situation to resolve your complaint.
- In appropriate cases, we could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, please let the Client Care Partner know. She will then arrange to review the decision. We would generally aim to do this within 10 working days. This will happen in one of the following ways.
- Jackie Smith will review her own decision
- We will arrange for another partner in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it
- We will let you know the result of the review within 5 working days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint. We very much hope that this will not be necessary.
In the event you should wish to contact the Legal Ombudsman you should note that they operate a time limit for referring complaints to them. Complaints need to be referred to the Legal Complaints Service (LCS) within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. From 1 April 2023, the time limits for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman will be no later than:
- One year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
- One year from the date when the complainant should have realised that there was a cause for complaint
In the event you should wish to contact the Legal Ombudsman you should note that they operate a time limit for referring complaints to them. Complaints need to be referred to the LCS within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. The time limits for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint are six years from the date of act/omission, or three years from when the complainant should have known about the complaint. However, the Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness were before 6 October 2010.
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted by:
Post: PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333