Our complaints policy

Karslakes Solicitors is 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 enable us to investigate your concerns and will help us to improve our standards.

Our complaints procedure

In the event of a complaint, you should raise the concern in the first place with the person dealing with the particular matter.

If this does not resolve the problem you should then contact the supervising director or department head, whose name will have been notified at the outset of the transaction.

The complaint does not have to be put in writing, although setting out clearly the issues and the action you wish us to take may help us to resolve your concerns more quickly.

If these steps do not resolve the problem you should contact the client care officer, by telephoning or writing. He is Steve Ray:

Telephone: 01483 454242

Email: sray@karslakes.com 

What will happen next?

1.      We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five days of our receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure. Or where appropriate we will contact you to discuss an alternative means of providing this information

2.      We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our client care officer, Steve Ray, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.

3.      Steve Ray will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and, it is hoped, resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

4.      Within three days of the meeting, Steve Ray will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.

5.      If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Steve Ray will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

6.      At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will review your comments. Depending on the matter we may at this stage arrange for another director to review the decision.

7.      We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

Referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman

If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint at:

PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

Telephone: 0300 555 0333

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of your receiving a final written response from us regarding your complaint. The Legal Ombudsman has provided further guidance regarding its service on its website at www.legalombudsman.org.ukThe Ombudsman will allow us a period of eight weeks to resolve your complaint. The Ombudsman asks that you come to it as soon as you can and within six months of your last contact with us.

Ordinarily, you must make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within a year of the matter giving rise to the complaint or a year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint without taking advice from a third party, whichever is later. The Legal Ombudsman can increase any time limit in exceptional circumstances eg if there is serious illness.

Referring a complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

You can also raise concerns with the Solicitors regulation Authority (SRA) if you think we have breached an SRA Principle. The SRA Principles govern our behaviour and details can be found on the SRA’s website at:

www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/principles. The SRA can be contacted at:

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Cube, 199 Wharf Street, Birmingham B1 1RN

Telephone: 0370 606 2555 or (+44 (0) 121 329 6800 for international callers)

Fax: +44 (0) 121 616 1999

Website: www.sra.org.uk/contactus/

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

In addition to the Legal Ombudsman alternative complaints bodies exist (Alternative Dispute resolution or ADR bodies) which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should all parties agree to use such a scheme.

You may access the list of ADR bodies on the European Commission’s website. Please note that many of the ADR bodies are industry specific and are not appropriate for dealing with complaints of this nature.

We are not required to have chosen to adopt an ADR process because we consider the service offered by the Legal Ombudsman to be the most appropriate means of resolving complaints about legal services.

ODR Platform

If we are unable to resolve your complaint and it relates to a contract we entered into online or by other electronic means, you may also be able to submit your complaint to an approved ADR provider in the UK or via the EU “ODR platform”.

The ODR platform is an interactive website offering a single point of entry for disputes between consumers and traders relating to online contracts. The ODR platform is available to consumer clients only i.e. where you have instructed us for purposes outside of your trade or business. The website address for the ODR platform is: http://ec.europa.eu/odr

Please note however that the ODR platform only transmits disputes to ADR bodies which are approved under European Law and these do not currently include the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme.