Complaints Procedure

Our Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. If you think something has gone wrong, you should tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

We find it often helps to make the issues clearer to both of us if you make your complaint in writing or by email but you may make a complaint by telephone.

We will not charge you for handling your complaint.

Please note that if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter and some or all of the bill is unpaid, we may still be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding.

Our Complaints Procedure

We will aim to deal with formal complaints in the following way and according to the following timescales.

  1. If you have a complaint, please raise it with the Partner responsible for your matter. If this presents a particular difficulty for you, you may raise your complaint directly with our Senior Partner, John Stephenson (by email at johnstephenson@bdb-law.co.uk, by post to 50 Broadway London SW1H 0BL or by telephone on +44 (0)20 7783 3618).
  2. If the complaint cannot be dealt with there and then, we will, within five working days, acknowledge it in writing (which may be by e-mail) and let you know who will be dealing with it. We may ask you to clarify your complaint or explain it in more detail.
  3. Also within two working days of receiving your complaint or your clarification or further explanation of it, we will start to investigate your complaint. We may suggest a meeting with you.
  4. Our investigation will usually involve: reviewing your complaint; reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documentation; and other relevant documentation; and speaking with the person(s) who dealt with your matter.
  5. We will aim to complete our investigation and respond to your complaint within 15 working days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement. This may include suggestions for resolving the matter.
  6. If we need longer to complete our investigation and respond to your complaint, we will contact you again within this timescale to explain the position. If necessary, we will do this on a recurring 15 working day cycle until you have received our substantive response. In any event, we will provide you with our substantive response within 8 weeks of receiving your complaint.
  7. If you are not satisfied with our substantive response, you may pursue your complaint further with us. We may then arrange for someone else in the firm to carry out a review of your complaint and our response. This review is likely to be carried out by the Senior Partner, if the Senior Partner did not carry out the initial investigation of your complaint.
  8. We will aim to carry out this further review and write to you with our further response within 15 working days (or explain the position to you, if this timescale cannot be met).
  9. If you are not satisfied with our further response, you may be able to pursue the matter further by raising it with the Legal Ombudsmun (LeO). Their complaints and redress scheme is available to individuals and certain types of small entities and organisations and is free of charge to use. The LeO’s contact details are The Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ e enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk 0300 555 0333
  10. Any complaint to the LeO must usually be made within 6 months of the date of our final response to your complaint and within 6 years of the act or omission about which you are complaining (or within 3 years of you becoming aware of it). For further information you should contact the LeO.

Bircham Dyson Bell LLP
December 2013