Our Complaints Policy & Procedure

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. We value all feedback from our clients (both good and bad). This helps us to improve our standards.

Informal Complaint

If you have a complaint, then please raise this initially with the Lawyer/Fee earner who is dealing with your legal matter to see if they can resolve matters with you informally to your satisfaction. We find that this results in a “win-win” situation in that matters are resolved quickly, but also informally and any misunderstandings and potential problems are often nipped in the bud. The Lawyer/Fee earner will respond and deal with your informal complaint ideally within 1 working day, but as an absolute maximum within 3 working days.

Head Of Department Review

If the Lawyer/Fee earner dealing with your case is unable to resolve your informal complaint to your satisfaction then please contact the Head of Department/Supervisor who has been specifically allocated to your legal matter. The name of the Head of Department/Supervisor is stated in the private terms of business and also in the terms of engagement letter that would have been sent to you at the outset of the case. The Head of Department will take an informal and pragmatic approach and focus on trying to resolve your complaint or issue amicably to your reasonable satisfaction. This Head of Department review process will predominantly be dealt with over the telephone and by email. The Head of Department/Supervisor will initially respond to your request for a review within 2 working days, and attempt to deal with matters to your satisfaction within a maximum of 5 working days.

Formal Written Complaint

If both the Lawyer/Fee earner and the Head of Department/Supervisor are unable to satisfactorily deal with your complaint and review on an informal basis, then you may wish to submit a formal written complaint. If you do, then please write to Mr Adrian Chambers, who is the C.O.L.P. (Compliance Officer for Legal Practice). This person is responsible for dealing with formal client care and complaints issues. You can contact him by post at 1 Alexandra Road, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 1PE or via email at adrian@seatons.co.uk. Sadly, all formal complaints must usually be submitted in writing and Mr Chambers will not be able to deal with complaints either in person or over the telephone (unless there are exceptional or unusual circumstances).

Acknowledgement

If you make a formal written complaint then we will send you a letter or email acknowledging receipt of your formal complaint within a maximum of 3 working days of us receiving the complaint and will enclose a copy of this procedure.

Investigation And Response

We will then investigate your formal complaint. This will normally involve fully reviewing your file and speaking to the Lawyer/Fee earner who acted for you. If your complaint relates to a matter where the file has been closed we may need to obtain your file from our archive storage facility, which may take up to 3 working days. We will send you a detailed written response to your complaint, including suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the initial acknowledgement letter.

Review

If you are not satisfied with the detailed written response, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a Director of the Firm, who has not had any dealings with your matter, to independently review the detailed response. The Director 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.

Legal Ombudsman

If, having gone through the above processes, you are not satisfied with matters then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) at the Office for Legal Complaints on 0300 555 0333, or by writing to PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk. The LeO will not normally deal with complaints unless our complaints procedure has

been exhausted and allows us to do this within eight weeks. The LeO asks that you contact his office within six months of your last contact with the firm. Please note that the LeO will not handle complaints from large businesses (see the LeO website – www.legalombudsman.org.uk).