Complaints policy & handling procedure

This is how SJS Legal can help with your complaints

For a FREE consultation: Call 0151 909 6120

We treat all complaints about our services extremely seriously and value feedback from those who deal with us so that we can continue to improve and meet our client’s expectations. We regularly review all complaints made about the firm which we find useful when examining the operational procedures of the firm and can, if appropriate, lead to changes in our policies and procedures.

We are proud that our clients and staff are important to us.

POLICY

We aim to provide a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.

OUR COMMITMENT

As such we are committed to dealing with complaints about the services we provide fully and fairly. We welcome your feedback as it helps us identify areas for improvement, ensuring our commitment to quality is not compromised. All our staff are trained in how to deal with complaints and are provided with regular guidance on how to follow the relevant procedures. This ensures all complaints are dealt with efficiently, ensuring consistency and compliance at all times.

WHAT CONSTITUTES A COMPLAINT

Any expression of dissatisfaction in any form from any source is identified as a possible complaint.

Instances of formal complaints could include:-

  • Anyone notifying us, either verbally or in writing, that a complaint is being made
  • Any dissatisfaction expressed concerning the way a matter is being or has been dealt with
  • Issues concerning bills and payments
  • The member of staff judges the matter to be sufficiently serious to warrant recording as a formal complaint
  • The client bypasses the member of staff and takes the complaint directly to any other member of staff or to the partner responsible for dealing with complaints
  • COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

    In the first instance, please raise your concern with the person handling your case. If you still have concerns please contact Niamh Wilson Risk and Compliance Solicitor. She can be contacted on 0151 909 6120 or by email to niamhwilson@sjs-legal.co.uk. She is based at 10 Sweeting Street, Sweeting House, Liverpool L2 4TE

    What will happen next?

  • We will log your complaint in our central complaint file
  • We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five days of receiving it
  • We will then investigate your complaint. This will involve passing your complaint to Niamh Wilson, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you
  • a. nvite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter. Within 5 days of the meeting we will then write to you to confirm what took place, along with any solutions agreed OR

    b. Send you a detailed response to your complaint to include suggestions for resolving the matter. We will do this within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

  • At this stage if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a Director within the firm, who is unconnected with your matter, to review the decision.
  • We will contact you in 14 days of receiving your request for review confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons
  • If you are still not satisfied you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint. The Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body established under the Legal Services Act, investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers. Any complaint made to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of the date of our final decision on your complaint.

    You can contact the Legal Ombudsman by:

    Telephone: +44 0300 555 0333

    Email on enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

    From 22 January 2024, all written correspondence should be sent to:

    Legal Ombudsman

    PO Box 6167S

    Slough

    SL1 0EH

    The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within a year of 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.

    These rules also apply to prospective clients who could reasonably have expected to receive a service or who were unreasonably offered a service they did not want.

    In addition to your right to object to our bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, you may also have a right to apply to the court for assessment of our bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Please note that the Legal Ombudsman may not deal with your complaint regarding your bill if you have applied to the court for assessment of that bill.

    If all or part of our bill remains unpaid whilst you dispute it, the firm may be entitled to charge interest.