Complaints Handling 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 to improve our standards. If you have a complaint, either in relation to the conduct of your case or our bill contact us with the details.
Who to contact
If you have any concerns about our service, our work, or our charges, you should discuss these first with the individual who has day-to-day control of your matter.
If this person cannot satisfactorily address your concerns and you wish to make a complaint, please contact our Complaints Partner, Kiran Pabla.
You can write to her at Pabla + Pabla Solicitors, The Old Town Hall, Lapwing Lane, Didsbury, Manchester, Lancashire, M20 2NR or send an email to email@example.com.
What will happen next?
1 We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the details set out. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within 7 days of us receiving your complaint.
2 We will record your complaint in our central register and open a separate file for your
3 We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps.
- We will pass your complaints to Kiran Pabla, our client care Partner within three days (If it is Kiran Pabla you are complaining about, your complaint will be passed to Hari Pabla).
- Miss Pabla will ask the member of staff who acted for you to report back to her in relation to your complaint within 10 days
- She will then examine their reply and the information in your complaint file and, if necessary, may also speak to them. This will take up to 5 days from receiving their reply and the file.
4 Hari Pabla/ Kiran Pabla will then invite you to a meeting either face to face or by Telephone to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.
5 Within two days of the meeting Hari Pabla/ Kiran Pabla will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he (or she) has agreed with you. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Hari Pabla/ Kiran Pabla will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include his (or her) suggestions for resolving the matter. He (or she) will do this within five days of completing the investigation.
6 At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways.
- Another partner of the firm will review Hari Pabla’s / Kiran Pabla’s decision within 10 days.
- We will invite you to agree to independent mediation within five days. We will let you know how long this process will take.
7. We will let you know the result of the review within five days of the end of the review. At this time, we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction and you wish to involve an outside body, then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman service (https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/) on 0300 555 0333. In normal circumstances, the Legal Ombudsman expects you to allow us 8 weeks to try to resolve your complaint before contacting them, and complaints should be made within six months of the date of the conclusion of the Firm’s complaints procedure. For more information on complaint procedures visit https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/.
In addition, there are time limits relating to the date you first became aware or should have become aware of the problem. The relevant time limits are set out in the version of the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules in force from time to time (which can be accessed at: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/corporate-publications/scheme-rules/ or by contacting the Legal Ombudsman using the contact details provided below) and may only be extended by the Legal Ombudsman in exceptional circumstances.
Ordinarily, you cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless you have first attempted to resolve your complaint using our internal Complaints Handling procedure, but you will be able to contact the Legal Ombudsman if:
- The complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks of first making the compliant to us; or
- The Legal Ombudsman decides that there are exceptional reasons why the Legal Ombudsman should consider your complaint sooner, or without you having to use our internal Complaints Handling Procedure first; or
- The Legal Ombudsman considers that your complaint cannot be resolved using our internal Complaints Handling Procedure because the relationship between you and us has broken down irretrievably.
If you wish to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, you must be one of the following:
- An individual;
- A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
- A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or
- A personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
Please note that that there may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; and that if all or part of a bill remains unpaid the firm may be entitled to charge interest.
If your first language is not English or you find it difficult to read our complaints procedure, please tell us which language you read and we will endeavour to have a complaints procedure translated into your preferred language.
Complaining to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
Address: Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN
Telephone: 0370 606 2555
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Where we are not able to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process, there are alternative complaints bodies (such as the Ombudsman Services https://www.ombudsman-services.org/ which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
Please let us know if you would like to consider using an alternative complaints body to resolve your complaint.