This is the Complaints Procedure for Ware & Kay Solicitors Ltd. 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. If you have a complaint, we prefer that you write to us with the details.
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter via email or post acknowledging your complaint. We may ask you to confirm or explain the details of your complaint further either by letter, telephone or in a meeting. We will open a complaint in our system and we will also let you know the name of the person who will be managing your complaint. You can expect to receive our correspondence within 5 working days of us receiving your complaint.
Your complaint will be handled by the Client Services Director (CSD) Ms Johanne Spittle and the Client Services Manager (CSM) Mr James Withers. If the complaint relates to a matter Ms Spittle acted on, then Mr Withers will manage the complaint with support from an alternative CSD selected by us. This may be Mr David Hyams, our alternative CSD for York or Ms Emma Elwess, our alternative CSD for Malton.
If the CSM or CSDs are not available, then we will either postpone dealing with your complaint or ask another director to look into your complaint. We will let you know and explain our position if necessary.
- We will then begin the investigation into your complaint. This will take place in the following steps.
- The CSD or CSM appointed will ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to them and address the point(s) of your complaint, including any specific details such as timings and dates where necessary.
- The CSD or CSM will then review their response and the points raised in your complaint. And, if necessary, discuss the response further with the member of staff.
- An interim response will be sent to you with the findings of the CSD and CSM. This letter will contain a detailed reply to the points raised in your complaint and suggestions for resolving the matter.
These steps will take place over the next 15 working days from the acknowledgement letter being sent to you in order to allow enough time to obtain a response from the member of staff, review their response and discuss further if necessary and send the interim response to you.
- If you are satisfied with the conclusions and wish to take the matter no further other than in accordance with the suggestions made for settling the complaint, we request that you notify us in writing (an email is sufficient).
- If you are not satisfied with the interim response, you can ask for a review of the decision which will be done by an alternative Client Services Director, or another director if the alternative CSDs are not available, within 10 working days and the result of the review will be sent to you, confirming our final position on your complaint and the reasons. The final response will be sent within 5 working days on the completion of the review by the alternative CSD. This will contain information about the Legal Ombudsman Service.
Alternative ways we may deal with your complaint
- We may ask another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint within 10 working days. We will let you know how long the process will take.
- We may invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take.
- We may invite you in to a meeting in order to discuss your complaint to resolve the issues in person. We will write to you within 5 working days to confirm what took place and any solutions agreed in the meeting. This will be in the form of an interim response.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
Legal Ombudsman Service
- When you receive our final response, we will also give you the name and address of the Legal Ombudsman Service which resolves complaints about solicitors. If there is dissatisfaction with our handling of a complaint the Legal Ombudsman can be asked to consider the complaint once you have received your final response.
- If we fail to complete our consideration and findings in respect of your complaint within 8 weeks of the date of your complaint you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman whose details are given below.
- There is a time limit for contacting the Legal Ombudsman of 6 months from when we make a decision on your complaint.
- Please note the time limits for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint changed on 1 April 2023 and are now:
- 1 year from the date of the act/omission complained of; or
- 1 year from when the complainant should have known about the complaint.
- The Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness was before 6 October 2010.
- The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted at PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EWH. Further information can be obtained by calling 0300 555 0333 between 10:00 and 16:00 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Calling from overseas +44 121 245 3050. Relay UK 18001 0300 555 0333.
- The website http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/ also provides details of the Legal Ombudsman Service’s vision, their mission and values.
Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.