1. If you wish to make a complaint about the service Hudgell & Partners have provided to you please read this Guide which sets out the firm’s complaints procedure so that any problems can be resolved. You will not be charged for complaining. Regardless of the type of case that we are handling for you we aim to resolve the matter within 8 weeks. The complaint will not prejudice your case which will progress concurrently. Nicholas Hart is the Partner responsible for administering Hudgell & Partners complaints procedure. It is the firm’s policy that your complaint will be acknowledged within three working days.
2. If the fee earner handling your case is unable to give a satisfactory explanation with regard to your initial complaint there will be a nominated person, normally a Partner in that department, who will then be given your letter of complaint and will investigate it on your behalf. The name of the person who will make the investigation is set out in the client care letter that we sent to you and you should feel free to contact them with regard to your complaint.
3. Your complaint will be notified to Nicholas Hart and then recorded in Hudgell & Partners’ central register. The Partner who will handle your complaint will consider the matters that you have raised and may contact you to seek further details of your complaint. It is important to ascertain the exact nature of your complaint so that it can be properly investigated.
4. Once the Partner handling your complaint has established the true nature of your complaint he or she will read your file, normally within a week of receiving your complaint. In particular he or she will be checking that the procedures which should have been followed have been followed in your particular case. He or she will also be checking whether the matters about which you have complained can be verified by the file and the documents on it.
5. In addition the Partner handling your complaint will request an interview with the person who handled your file to discuss the complaint and their response. This interview normally takes place within two weeks of receiving your complaint. This is an important procedure as the person who handled your file may or may not agree with some aspects of your complaint.
6. Once the Partner has been through the above-mentioned procedures he or she will normally formulate a formal response to your complaint in writing and send it to you. This written response will be sent within three to four weeks from receiving your complaint. As part of the response to your complaint the Partner will outline the investigations that he or she has made and the conclusions that he or she has reached resulting from your complaint. Our objective is to share our findings with you. The Partner will be looking for a solution to your complaint. The solution may take different forms. For example if your transaction has not been proceeding as fast as it should have, it may be that your file will be given high priority in order to bring it to a swift conclusion or perhaps given to a different Solicitor. You will be advised of and asked to agree the proposed recovery action.
7. We hope that you will be satisfied by the response you get from the Partner in the Firm and that you will find their independent analysis of your complaint fair and reasonable. If, however, you feel that your complaint has not been dealt with fairly or reasonably and you still feel aggrieved we would welcome your response to our conclusions so that the matter could perhaps be re-examined. In such circumstances the Senior Partner in the Firm is happy to look at the matter afresh. We find that most of our complaints can be resolved by an in-house investigation and we do pride ourselves that our complaints’ procedure works effectively. In keeping with Lexcel best practice we annually review our complaints procedure.
8. If, however, you feel that your complaint has not been handled properly by us the next step is for you to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman. They will, however, not entertain a complaint from you unless they are certain that you have used our in-house complaints procedure and that in your case that procedure has failed. Furthermore you must contact the Legal Ombudsman within six months of the end of the work we did for you, or within six months of finding out there was a problem with the work we did for you.
In normal circumstances you are required to register a complaint with us within one year. You must then give us 8 weeks to try to resolve your complaint before you contact the Legal Ombudsman. A complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must normally be made within six months of the date of the conclusion of our Firm's complaints procedure. In summary:
The address and telephone number and website for the Legal Ombudsman is as follows:-
The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
If you wish to make a complaint about the behaviour of your solicitor that relates to
you will need to contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The address and telephone number and website for the Solicitors Regulation Authority is as follows:-
Solicitors Regulation Authority
199 Wharfside Street
Tel: 0370 606 2555