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Leigh Day complaints policy

Have you got a complaint against Leigh Day?

New clients complaints procedure

We are committed to providing the highest standard of service for our clients and individuals who access our services and hope that you will never have reason to complain about our service to you or a bill of costs that we send to you. However, if you become unhappy or concerned about the service you have experienced, please bring it to our attention as soon as you can. We will try to resolve the matter fairly and quickly. You will not be charged for the handling of your complaint. We will apologise if need be and do our best to offer a practical solution.

The firm’s complaints partner is Vijay Ganapathy who is responsible for this procedure.

If you remain unhappy with our response to your complaint you are able to contact the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman is a free, independent, and impartial service, that handles complaints about legal services. Please note that time limits apply. You will find further details about the Legal Ombudsman below.

The Solicitors regulation authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour and that it may be in breach of the SRA’s Code of Conduct for Solicitors and Firms. You can find information on how and when to raise a concern with the SRA on its website.

If you are unhappy about a bill of costs that you have received, there are special rules about your right to apply for a remuneration certificate. You have either one month from the date of the bill to apply in writing where the information appears on the back of our bill, or where you have not been told of your right to apply for a certificate, three months from the date of the bill.

You will find further information about the Online Dispute Resolution service here.

A preliminary point

The relationship with your lawyer is built on trust and openness. You should be able to talk to your lawyer frankly about all sorts of things so that some complaints (and these are likely to be minor issues) might lend themselves to be resolved by a simple phone call with your lawyer. However, if you are not comfortable speaking to your lawyer about the problem then speak to either their supervisor or the complaints partner.

How do I complain?

We much prefer that substantial or complicated complaints are dealt with in writing – we do not have any set forms that we use for this purpose. However, we realise that not all clients may be able to formulate a detailed letter. In such cases, a telephone call will do, during which we will make a note of the complaint matters and then send that to you for comment. This document will then form the basis of the complaint.

Who do I complain to?

Our system is that, wherever possible, complaints are resolved within the department handling your case. You should look at the “Client Care” letter that was sent to you at the start of your case. It will name the person in the firm to whom you should address your complaint. If your case is being handled by a solicitor who is not a partner, then the complaint should, in the first instance, be made to the partner who oversees your case. However, if your case is being run by a partner, the head of that department will respond to your complaint. If your case is being run by a head of department, another partner will be named in your letter to deal with your complaint.

Although you should know the name of the person dealing with your case, the reference, in the top right-hand corner of our letters, will tell you the name of the fee-earner who deals with your case (the first initials).

You will be informed in writing by the lawyer having conduct of your matter if there is a change of person to whom any problem with our level of service should be addressed.

The person dealing with your complaint will inform the complaints partner that a complaint has been made for our complaints file and so that he can monitor progress of the complaint.

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint that is provided to you by the department handling your case, you should write to the complaints partner.

If you have a complaint about any of the people that we employ, who are not solicitors, then you should also write to the complaints partner.

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the complaints partner reviewing your matter file and speaking to the members of staff who acted for you.
  3. The complaints partner will then write to you with his findings within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. However, if the complaint is complicated, further time may be needed. If so, the complaints partner will write and tell you and set another time limit.

If you are not satisfied with the complaints partner’s response, and/or we fail to resolve your complaint satisfactorily within 8 weeks you can contact:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6167

Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within 6 months of the date of our final written response on your complaint but for further information, you should email the Legal Ombudsman, enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk,or call 0300 555 0333.

Raising your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman

The Legal Ombudsman is a free, independent and impartial service, that handles complaints about legal services. Please find contact details for the Legal Ombudsman below:
Postal Address: The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH

Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Website: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

The Legal Ombudsman has produced helpful factsheets to guide you if you have a complaint. We can let you have copies on request, or you can find them on the Legal Ombudsman’s website. They are called ‘Here to Help’, ‘How to Complain to your Service Provider’ ‘Investigating Your Complaint’ and ‘Our Approach to Investigations’.

You can ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved, at the end of our internal complaint’s procedure, if you remain unhappy with the outcome. The Legal Ombudsman has a helpline if you need to speak to them about how to make a complaint. Calls are charged at a local rate and will be recorded. There is no charge for the Ombudsman’s services.

Legal Ombudsman’s time limits

Please see the Ombudsman’s website

Should we be unable to resolve your complaint the Legal Ombudsman requires that you contact them as soon as you can and within six months of our final response to you.

From the 1 April 2023 you must make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either:

  • One year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
  • One year from the date when you realised that there was cause for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman has the ability to exercise discretion to extend the 1-year time limit for specific customers if, on the evidence, it is fair and reasonable to do so.

The Online Dispute Resolution website is an official website managed by the European Commission dedicated to helping consumers and on-traders resolve their disputes out-of-court. We currently do not use any ADR providers to resolve complaints, including those which the ODR Platform transmits complaints to, but unresolved complaints about our services will be dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman under the statutory complaints scheme.

Should you have any questions concerning this procedure, please contact the complaints partner Vijay Ganapathy.