COMPLAINTS POLICY for clients

We are committed to providing a high-quality service to all our clients and prospective clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint, please contact us with full details so that this may be fully investigated. We would like complaints to be in writing either by letter, addressed to Shaun Underhill, our Client Care Partner, at Star Lane House, Staple Gardens, Winchester SO23 9AD or email to sunderhill@shentons.co.uk. If you cannot put your complaint in writing please telephone Shaun Underhill on 01962 844544.

Our Client Care Partner, Shaun Underhill will discuss your complaint with the partner in charge of the relevant department and the fee earner involved in your complaint.

What will happen next?

• We hope it is obvious but we will not charge you for dealing with your complaint.

• We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and ask you to confirm or explain the details set out. We will also confirm that Shaun Underhill will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within three days of us receiving your complaint.

• We will record your complaint in our central registrar and open a file for your complaint. We will do this within three days of receiving your complaint.

• We will then start to investigate your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps: We may ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint within five days. We may examine their reply and the information in your complaint file. We may then ask them for more information. This will take up to three days from receiving their reply and the file.

• We may invite you to meet Shaun Underhill to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within three days of receiving all the details we need from the member of staff who acted for you.

• Within two days of the meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.

• If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, or we perhaps consider it is not required, we will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter. This will happen within five days of us completing our investigation. If we have to change any of the timescales above we will let you know and explain the reason why. We have 8 weeks from when we receive your complaint to give you a final response.

• If we are unable to resolve the complaint with you then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates problems about poor service from solicitors. Before accepting a complaint for investigation the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you remain unsatisfied, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
• Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and

• Six years from the date of act/omission; or

• Three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint (only if the act took place more than six years ago). The act or omission, or when you should have reasonably known there was cause for complaint, must have been after 5 October 2010. If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman please contact them. Contact details: Visit www.legalombudsman.org.uk; call 0300 555 0333 between 8.30am to 5.30pm. For minicom call 0300 555 1777; calls to 03 numbers will cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers (starting 01or 02) from both mobiles and landlines. Note: calls are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes; Email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk; or write to Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Do not send original documents to the Legal Ombudsman. They will scan any documents you send to make computer copies and then destroy the originals. Alternative complaints bodies, such as ADR Group at 160 Fleet Street London EC4A 2 DQ (http://www.consumer-dispute.co.uk), exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. We do not agree to use the ADR Group Scheme.


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