Terms of Engagement

COMPLAINTS HANDLING POLICY

Our Commitment

We are committed to providing a high quality of legal service to all of our clients.  When something goes wrong, we are committed to try and put matters right.  We need to know if there is a problem as we can only put things right and improve our standards.

Wherever possible please raise any initial client care problem with the person acting on your case to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you.  Often matters can be resolved quickly in this way.

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you receive, or your bill, please contact us by post at our office at 21 Galgate, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham  DL12 8EQ or by e-mail to office@mbmcgarry.co.uk   Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

What Happens Next 

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within the maximum of seven days of receiving it
  2. We will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to one of our partners who will review your file and speak to the partner or member of staff who acted for you
  3. If the complaint cannot be resolved verbally or in writing we will invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within fourteen days of sending you the acknowledgement letter
  4. Within five days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and set out any solutions that have been agreed with you
  5. If you do not want a meeting, or it is not possible, you will be sent a detailed written reply to your complaint, including the suggestions for resolving the matter, within twenty one days of sending you the acknowledgement letter
  6. At any stage if you are not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another senior member within the firm to review the decision
  7. We will write to you within fourteen days of receiving your request for a review confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons
  8. If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. We would hope that this does not become necessary so that we can resolve matters between ourselves.

Contact details are as follows:-

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 6806

Wolverhampton

WV1 9WJ

Telephone – 0300 555 0333

E-mail:- enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Normally you would need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving our final written response from us about your complaint and within the following timescales:-

1)         Six years from the date of the act or omission about which you were complaining occurring, or

2)         Three years from the date you should reasonably have known there were grounds for a complaint

The Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or the date of awareness was before 6th October 2010.

If we need to change any of the above timescales we will let you know and explain why.

Complaints in Relation to Bills

The procedure above also complies to complaints arising concerning our bill.  There may also be rights to object to the bill by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.  The Legal Ombudsman may not deal with a complaint about the bill if you have applied to the Court for an assessment of the bill.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative complaints bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and the firm consent to use such scheme.  In the event that you wish to use an alternative complaint body you should advise us and we will then state if we agree.

Raising Concerns with our Regulator

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help you 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, disability or other characteristics.  You can find information about raising your concerns with the SRA at www.sra.org.uk in “For the Public” section.