Pitman Blackstock White Solicitors

Your LOCAL Forest of Dean and Gloucester Solicitors

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Our complaints policy

Our aim is to provide the highest standards of client care at all times. The majority of our clients never have a cause for complaint and are very pleased with the service we provide. However we are not complacent and would always wish to know if you are unhappy with any aspect of our services.

Our complaints procedure

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about our charges, the first step is to speak to the person who has been dealing with your matter. Most issues can be resolved quickly and amicably at this stage.

If the issue cannot be resolved to your liking or you wish to deal with someone else, please contact Ross White on 01594 842475 or by e-mail on info@pbwsolicitors.co.uk or by post to our main office address 6 Hill Street, Lydney, Glos. GL15 5HE

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and enclosing a copy of this procedure within 5 working days. The letter will ask you to confirm or explain the details of your complaint. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
  2. We will record your complaint in our central register and open a separate file for your complaint.
  3. Within 5 working days of receiving your reply we will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgement letter and confirm what will happen next.
  4. We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps:
    • We will pass your complaint to Mr Ross White, our Client Care Partner, within 5 working days;
    • In the event that your complaint is against Mr Ross White, your complaint will be dealt with by his partner, Mr Glenn Pitman;
    • He will ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint within 5 working days;
    • He will then examine their reply and the information in your complaint file, and if necessary, he may also speak to them. This will take up to 5 working days from receiving their reply and the file.
  5. Mr White may then invite you to meet him or discuss by telephone and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within 5 working days.
  6. Within 5 working days of any meeting Mr White will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.

If you do not want a meeting or it is not appropriate, Mr White will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint. This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter. He will do this within 5 workings days of completing his investigation.

Reviewing our decision

At this stage, if you are still not satisfied with the outcome you can write to us again. We will then arrange for a Partner unconnected with the matter to review our decision. 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.

Other options

If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at Edward House, Quay Place, Birmingham B1 2RA to consider the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman accepts complaints from individuals and small businesses, charities or associations. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. It will not normally consider complaints that are more than six years old, or where it is three years since the complainant ought to have been aware of the problem.

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.

To see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority please visit their website www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.

Complaints about bills

If your complaint is about a bill you may also have a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of that bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. You should however be aware that if all or any part of the bill remains unpaid we may be entitled to charge interest.

Timescales

If it is not possible to deal with your complaint within the above timeframe we will inform you of the delay and the reasons for it. However we will do our best to resolve the matter as soon as practicable.

Charges

Please be assured there are no charges for the conduct of a complaints investigation.