Fairweathers Solicitors LLP is committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
Our complaints procedure
Ordinarily, we would hope that you feel able to raise any issues of concern or dissatisfaction direct with the person conducting your case. If so, you can expect them to take your concern seriously and endeavour to deal with it to your satisfaction speedily.
If you remain concerned, however, or have a concern that you do not wish to raise with the conducting lawyer in the first instance, then you should contact the person whose name was given to you in the Client Care letter that you were sent when we first began to act for you.
That person will be the supervisor of the lawyer dealing with your case – the Head of their Department. Nick Fairweather heads up our Medical Negligence Department. If you have concerns to raise or a complaint to make against Nick Fairweather himself, then your concerns/the complaint can be raised with Alex Tengroth, who is the next most senior person within the Partnership and Department.
Your complaint could be in writing or by way of a telephone call or by email. If by telephone call and you do not wish to follow this up with a written complaint, we will send you our written understanding of what you are complaining about to form the basis of the complaint. Please let us know if you are having someone assist you with the complaint and we will look to accommodate this.
We define complaints as any expression of client dissatisfaction which the person dealing with the case is unable immediately to resolve. All staff are directed to self refer any such complaints themselves. It may be that the complaint begins by the Partnership itself looking to address your dissatisfaction without you having formally raised it as a complaint as such (in which event it will be up to you, of course, if you wish to pursue matters as a formal complaint).
However the complaint arises, the following procedure then applies:
What happens next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details within 7 days of receipt of the complaint. In doing so, we will send a copy of this policy. We will also explain to you that we will investigate and deal with your complaint free of charge. If appropriate, we will suggest a meeting at this stage. We will also confirm the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
- We will record your complaint in our central register of complaints and open a ‘complaints log’ with details of your complaint, attaching relevant documents. As we investigate the complaint, the log will be added to and relevant documentation attached
- We will initially investigate your complaint by examining your file.
- We will also usually discuss the complaint with the person conducting your case, as part of the complaint investigation
- Exceptionally, it may be that other forms of investigation are required such as speaking with third parties. As appropriate, we will liaise with you in relation to this before taking such steps
- If necessary and appropriate, we may invite you to a meeting to discuss the complaint as part of the investigation.
- We would hope to be able to have investigated your complaint and responded to it within 14 days in most cases, and a maximum of 28 days in cases that are more complex or otherwise take longer to look into – this maximum period may be exceeded for good reason which will be explained to you in writing with as firm an indication as we can give as to an alternative timescale with reasons.
- In some instances we may suggest a meeting with you to look to resolve the complaint and will write to you after that meeting
- In responding to your complaint, we will clearly address what you have complained of and what our findings are in relation to same and why, based on our investigation. We may also offer or suggest solutions.
- In appropriate cases, if there has been fault we may offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment on account received.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within 14 days, as follows:
- The person dealing with the complaint up to that point will be Nick Fairweather and he will review his own decision, change it if appropriate (taking into account any points you have made), otherwise pass it on to Alex Tengroth for him to review and write to you with our final decision with reasons. If the complaint is about Alex, the review will be conducted by the next most senior member of our LLP Team available to deal with it
- If the complaint concerns Nick and has thus been dealt with by Alex, then the review will be conducted by the next most senior member of our LLP Team available to deal with it.
- When responding to your complaint and your review request, we will remind you in writing of your right to contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint, which you are free to do. The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:
The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
The Legal Ombudsman can provide helpful advice via the website, 3 booklets produced (entitled ‘Here to Help’, ‘Making a Complaint’ and ‘Guide to Good Complaints Handling’) and by phone.
The Legal Ombudsman allows us 8 weeks to resolve your complaint and asks that you make contact with him as soon as you can if still not satisfied and within 6 months of your last contact with us.
- In some cases we might suggest or agree to mediation.
- We hope that your complaint will be dealt with to your satisfaction .
April 2019 | Fairweathers Solicitors LLP