Complaints Procedure

We are 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 help us monitor and improve our standards.

We will not charge you for handling your complaint.

What you need to do

Set out your complaint and forward this to:

The Practice Manager

SWLaw Solicitors Ltd

Kingsley Close, East Way

Lee Mill, Ivybridge

Devon

PL21 9GD

What will happen next?

The Practice Manager will arrange for a letter to be sent to you acknowledging your complaint.  This letter will also set out who will be dealing with the complaint, and may ask you for confirmation or further explanation of any of the details you have provided to aid our investigation.  You can expect to receive our letter within 7 working days of us receiving your complaint.  We will include a copy of this procedure with our letter.

We will then start to investigate your complaint.  We will open a complaint on our central register, and decide how best to investigate the matter. This may involve one or more of the following steps:

  • We may ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint within 14 working days of sending you our letter of acknowledgement. 
  • We may invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.  This will be done within 14 working days of our sending you our letter of acknowledgement.  Within three working days of the meeting, we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions or remedies agreed with you.

Our written reply will confirm the outcome of our investigation, and our proposed solutions or remedies.  

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

At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision.  This will happen in one of the following ways:

  • We may pass the matter to a member of staff who has not previously been involved in your matter to review.  They will reply to you within 14 working days of sending you our letter of acknowledgement.
  • We may ask our local Law Society or another local firm of solicitors to review your complaint.  We will let you know how long this process will take, responding to you within 14 working days;
  • We will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take, responding to you within 14 working days.

If you are still not satisfied, you can then you can contact either the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority or the Legal Ombudsman, depending on the nature of your complaint.

If your compliant relates to poor service, or about your bill, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman at

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

Tel:  0300 555 0333 enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of receiving our final written response about your complaint or within 12 months of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or you becoming aware of it).

If your complaint relates to professional misconduct or professional disciplinary issues, you should contact the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority on 0370 606 2555 or email contactcentre@sra.org.uk

 

Getting Started

To register a formal complaint, please write to us and include all the information suggested by the Legal Ombudsman - their website includes some useful checklists and sample letters.

In addition to the Legal Ombudsman, several other complaints bodies exist which are also able to deal with complaints about legal services - these are: Ombudsman Services, ProMediate, Small Claims Mediation and the European Online Dispute Resolution platform. Information about these alternatives can be found at: