We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. If something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
Our Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint, please contact Kate Douch, our Client Care Partner. You can contact her at :
Heckford Norton, 18 Hill Street, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1JD
Tel: 01799 522636
Kate Douch will liaise with the partner in charge of the department involved in your complaint. If that partner is Mrs Douch then she will refer the matter to another partner.
What will happen next?
References to “days” below are to “working days” in each case.
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint, normally within 3 days of us receiving it.
- We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint.
- We will then start to investigate your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps:
- We may write to you asking you to confirm or explain further the details of the complaint you are making.
- We will speak to the member of staff who acted for you in the matter.
- We may invite you to meet Kate Douch or the partner in charge of the department involved in your complaint. Within three days of such a meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.
- If a meeting does not take place, for example if you do not wish to attend one or if it is not considered appropriate, we will send a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter. This will happen within five days of us completing our investigation, which normally will be within 28 days of receiving your complaint.
If you are still not satisfied you can contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways:
- Kate Douch may review our decision within five days.
- We may arrange for another partner in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it. He/she will do this within 10 days.
- Following such a review we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- We may invite you to agree to independent mediation. If so, we will let you know how long this process will take.
If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with legal professionals. From 1 April 2023 the Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman by post at: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or by telephone on 0300 555 0333.
You may also have a right to apply to the court for an assessment of a bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If the Legal Ombudsman thinks your case involves a breach of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Principles, they will refer your case to the SRA. Likewise, if you report a solicitor to the SRA for poor service, they will refer you to the Legal Ombudsman. You may report a firm to the SRA direct if you think a firm has breached an SRA Principle. You may do this by completing and submitting a form available on the SRA website (sra.org.uk).
© Heckford Norton 2020