Complaints policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our all clients. When something goes wrong we need to know. The following procedure has therefore been devised to assist us improve our standards of performance and maintain and continuously improve standards.

Our Policy

If a client has a complaint of any description the details need to be communicated to the Office Manager in whichever way is best for the client in question.

Compliance with Rule 15

This procedure has been designed to ensure conformance with Solicitors Practice, Rule 15.

The Firm’s Definition of a Complaint

The firm’s definition of a complaint is defined as “any expression of client dissatisfaction however it is expressed”.

This follows the Legal Services Commission definition of a complaint and also conforms to the Law Society Complaints Procedure.

Legal Ombudsman

Whilst we would always prefer that you complain to us in the first place or if your complaint has not been dealt with to your satisfaction you can complain to the Legal Ombudsman, however in the instance of an unsatisfactory outcome from our firm you must complain to the Legal Ombudsman.

General Complaint Management

The Office Manager will be responsible for the recording and monitoring of complaints and to ensure that timescales for communications with clients are met to conform to our written procedures, which will conform to Solicitors Practice Rule 15 and the Legal Services Commission’s requirements as specified within the Specialist Quality Mark.

The Office Manager will ensure that all complaints are managed to the client’s expectation and as such will immediately have a separate file opened with a complaint tracking sheet to ensure that the processes is met within the specified timescales.

A red file will be used to hold external (client) complaints and a turquoise folder will be used to hold internal (staff) complaints. Complaints will also be recorded centrally and held within the complaints and client feedback file; this will then allow records of all feedback to still be recorded centrally for annual review.

The legal ombudsman’s time limits are

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint


  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

Complaints will originate in a number of ways e.g. written (letter, e-mail, Client Feedback Questionnaires etc), verbal (telephone, personal visit to the office or during attendance upon clients etc). All must be treated with the same promptness, consideration and regard to the requirements of the firm, Law Society and Legal Services Commission procedures.

Our Complaints Procedure:

Verbal Complaints

When a verbal complaint is received i.e. telephone or in person at Reception a “Verbal Complaint Form” should be completed and passed to Mr Walsh who is the Principal and Managing Director, or the Office Manager.

After this point, the procedure for expressions of dissatisfaction can be handled in the same way.

If the client is to be seen, a copy of our complaints procedure can be provided at this stage although one will be sent with the acknowledgement correspondence.

All complaints should initially be passed to the Office Manager for logging and creation of a complaint file; they will then be passed to Mr Terence Walsh who is also our Client Care Manager.

When a complaint is made, the client should be informed as to what will happen next and to whom the complaint will be referred, e.g. Letter of acknowledgement and client complaint procedure which would include the contact information as detailed:

Contact at:

Stockport 16-18 Gorton Road, Stockport, SK5 6AE

By e-mail at:

By telephone on: 0161 672 2267

Alternatively, clients may visit any of our offices where we would be pleased to assist you by arranging if necessary, an appointment or contact with either the Office Manager or Principal.

What Happens Next?

  1. The Office Manager or Principal will write to the client acknowledging their complaint and asking for confirmation as to the nature of the complaint. This initial correspondence will detail who has been assigned to investigate the complaint and will be sent within three working days of receiving the complaint in question.
  2. The complaint will be recorded in the firm’s central register and a file will be created for the complaint in question. This will be done on the date that the complaint is received.
  3. The complaint will then be investigated. This may involve one or more of the following:
  • If the complaint is made about the person who acted on behalf of the client that is making the complaint, they will consider each of the issues in concern. A detailed reply will then be sent to the client or an offer of a meeting being arranged to discuss the matter further. This would be done within ten working days.
  • If another Fee Earner acted, they will be asked to provide their reply to the complaint within five working days. Their reply and the information within the file will then be examined and assessed. This would be done within three days of receiving their reply and the matter file.
  • An independent local solicitor may be asked to investigate and report on the complaint. This would be done within three days.

4. The client will then receive correspondence offering a meeting to discuss the complaint.

5. Within two days of any such meeting the client will receive correspondence stating what took place and any solutions that have been agreed. Should the client not require a meeting, or if this is not possible, a detailed response will be sent following the client’s complaint. This will include the firm’s suggestions for resolving the matter. This will be done within five working days of the completion of the investigation.

6. If at this stage, the client is not satisfied, they have the option of contacting the person dealing with their complaint again. The decision will then be reviewed.

This may happen in one of the following ways:

    1. The decision will be resolved by the person investigating the complaint. This would be done within five working days
    2. It will be arranged for another Fee Earner, who is not connected with the complaint to review the decision made. This would be done within ten working days
    3. The local Law Society or another local firm of solicitors will be asked to review the complaint within ten working days
    4. Independent mediation will be considered within five working days

7. The client will be informed of the reviewed result within five working days of the end of its completion. At this time the client will receive confirmation of the final position on their complaint, with an explanation of the reasons for any decision made.

Should any of the above-mentioned timescales have to be amended the client will be informed in writing.

Reparations Resulting From Complaints

Reparations if any, may take any of the following forms:

  1. An apology from the firm with an assurance that it will not occur again and that the Firm will try to do better.
  2. A reduction of the invoice
  3. Abatement of the invoice in total
  4. Informing the client of their right to complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  5. Informing the client of their right to consult another Solicitor and obtain advice as to whether the firm has been negligent

Disciplinary Issues Resulting from Complaints

Any disciplinary action resulting from a client complaint will be dealt with via the firm’s Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure.

In all cases however, the Principal/Client Care Manager and Office Manager will consider whether changes in procedures are necessary, or whether the training needs of the personnel should be reviewed.

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

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.