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Wansbroughs Complaints Procedure

Approved by Chairman, Stuart McGregor- Johnson
Initially Published December 2012.
Latest amendment May 2013. Amended May 2014, July 2020

Our complaints policy

We are 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.

Wansbroughs has a documented Complaints Procedure which is also published on the Corporate website. A complaint is defined as a matter of dissatisfaction raised by a client which is then confirmed in writing in accordance with the Complaints Procedure.

Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint, it should be raised initially with the partner in charge of the team involved in your complaint. If it is not possible to resolve the matter at team level then the matter will be passed to Complaints Partner, Tim Prees. You can write to him at our offices at Northgate House, Northgate Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1JX. If we have to change any of the responsibilities or the timescales set out below we will let you know and explain why.

[Please note that this procedure does not apply when allegations of negligence are made against the firm, at which stage your complaint will be referred to our PI insurer. We will advise you of proposed timescales of response in such circumstances.]

What will happen if the matter is referred to the Complaints Partner?

1. Within two working days we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. If it seems appropriate we will suggest a meeting at this stage. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.

2. We will then record your complaint in our central register. We will also investigate your complaint by examining the relevant file and discussing the complaint with the relevant fee-earner or fee-earners. We will endeavour to provide you with a full response to the complaint within 14 days of receiving your original letter. This may not be possible depending upon the availability of the relevant fee-earner or fee- earners,

3. If appropriate we will then invite you to meet the relevant Fee Earner or Partner to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We would hope to be in a position to meet with you in this way no longer than 14 days after first receiving your complaint. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreeable timescale, we will write fully to you setting out our views on the situation and any redress that we would feel to be appropriate.

4. Within three days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions that we have agreed with you. In appropriate cases we could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received.

5. 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 10 days. This will happen in one of the following ways.

  • The Complaints Partner will review his own decision.
  • We will arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it.
  • Wansbroughs Management Board will nominate a second partner to review your complaint within 10 days.
  • We will ask our local law society or another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint. We will let you know how long this process will take.
  • We will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take.

6. We will let you know the result of the review within five 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.

7. If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint or the process has taken longer than 8 weeks in total, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman at:
Legal Ombudsman,
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

to consider the complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). However, the Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness were before 6 October 2010.

The Legal Ombudsman will now also accept complaints from prospective clients where:

  • a person has unreasonably been refused a service.
  • a person has persistently or unreasonably been offered a service that they do not want.

For further information, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

8. Solicitors Regulation Authority

You are entitled to complain to the SRA if you consider that we have breached the SRA’s Regulatory Arrangements, or Codes of Conduct. This might include concerns about dishonesty, taking or losing your money, or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. Details of how to raise matters with the SRA can be found on their website.

9. ADR

The EU Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution of Consumer Disputes requires us to give you the details of an ADR provider. CEDR (The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) can be contacted on 0207 536 6000. Their address is 70 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1EU. Their website is www.cedr.com

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