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Formal Complaints Procedure for Clients of Harwood Solicitors

At Harwoods Solicitors we take complaints very seriously.

It is the aim that all complaints shall be handled in a timely and effective manner. All complaints shall be properly and openly dealt with. We will try to resolve the matter fairly. We will apologise if need be and do our best to offer a practical solution.

If your first language is not English or you find it difficult to read our complaints procedure, please tell us which language you read and we will endeavour to have a complaints procedure translated into your preferred language.


What to do if you have a complaint.

If you have a complaint please contact us with details of this setting out your reasons for the complaint. You may contact us by letter at our usual office address, by telephone or email. Please mark any complaints for the attention of, Angela Grabowska.  His telephone number is 01254 505090 if you wish to speak with him direct or his e-mail address angela.grabowska@harwoodsolicitors.co.uk. In the event that your concerns are with Angela  then the matter will be dealt with by Zabair Afzal

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will involve a review of your matter file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you.
  3. We will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within 10 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  4. Within three days of the meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions that has been agreed with you.
  5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible then we will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint including the written suggestions for resolving the matter. This will be done within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  6. At this stage if you are still not satisfied you should contact us again and we will arrange for another person within the firm or if you prefer someone unconnected with the firm to review the decision.
    1. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position to you on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
    2. Under our professional regulations we have eight weeks to consider your complaint.  If we have not resolved it within this time or alternatively If you are not happy with the outcome of our complaints procedure, you may raise the issue with the Legal Ombudsman but you must do so within six months of our final response to your complaint.  The Legal Ombudsman only accepts complaints from individuals and small businesses, charities or associations.  The time limit for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint is six years from the date of the act or omission or three years from when you should have known about the complaint.The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:
      Legal Ombudsman
      PO Box 6806
      Wolverhampton
      WV1  9WJ
      Tel: 0300 555 0333
      Email:  enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.
  1. You also have the right to complain about or challenge the bill by applying for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974 but please note that the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about the bill if you have applied to the court for assessment of the bill.
  2. There are alternative complaints bodies which are competent to deal with complaints about the legal services in circumstances where both you and Harwood agree to use the scheme. Details of these bodies can be found at the European Commission’s online dispute resolution website: http://ec.europa.eu/odr However, in our experience the Legal Ombudsman is the most suitable to deal with any complaints about the legal services.

Please note that we cannot and do not charge you for the cost of dealing with your complaint.

If we have to change any of the time scales set out above we will let you know and explain why.

Please do not hesitate to ask for clarification about this procedure if you have any queries.