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Client Service & Complaints

If you would like to discuss how our service to you could be improved, or if at any time you are dissatisfied, please contact the partner responsible for the work, or if you prefer, our client care partner Sunil Varma or, if he should be dealing with your matter, Martin Selwood.

We have a formal complaints handling procedure, which is set out below. We will investigate complaints promptly and will respond to you in writing.

We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time, or you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ (Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk), Tel: 0300 555 0333, email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk) to consider the complaint.

Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it.). Generally, the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints relating to acts or omissions that happened after 5 October 2010.

The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints by consumers and very small businesses. This means some clients may not have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman; these include:

  1. most businesses (unless they are defined as micro enterprises);
  2. charities or clubs with an annual income of more £1 million; and
  3. trustees of trust with asset value of more than £1 million.
This does not prevent you from making a complaint directly to us about the service you have received or about the bill.

Our complaints policy

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.

Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint about our service or a bill that we have rendered or both, please contact the person dealing with the matter. If this does not resolve the matter or if you prefer, contact Sunil Varma or if he is dealing with your matter, Martin Selwood, they can be reached at (respectively sv@cliffordharris.co.uk or ms@cliffordharris.co.uk) or by post to our office (Clifford Harris & Co, 58 Queen Anne Street, London, W1G 8HW).

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within seven days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to either Sunil Varma or Martin Selwood who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
  3. The partner dealing with the complaint will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. This will be done within fourteen days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  4. Within seven days of the meeting, we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions agreed with you.
  5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, the partner dealing with your complaint will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within fourteen days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for someone unconnected with the matter at the practice to review the decision, or we will suggest mediation.
  7. We will write to you within fourteen days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
  8. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
  9. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman at:

PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ
Tel: 0300 555 0333 or 0121 245 3050
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

There are time limits within which complaints must be made to the Legal Ombudsman, as indicated below.

Generally speaking, your complaint should be made to the Ombudsman no later than twelve months from when the problem occurred or from when you should reasonably have become aware of the problem. Additionally, you should make your complaint to the Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response from us following the complaint that you have made to us.

Normally, your complaint needs to fall inside both rules if the Ombudsman is going to investigate it. You also need to be aware that the Ombudsman only deals with complaints from the following:

  1. an enterprise which, at the time that the complaint is made, is a micro-enterprise within the meaning of arts.1, 2(1) and (3) of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, as that Recommendation had effect at the date it was adopted;
  2. a charity with an annual income net of tax of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
  3. a club, association or organisation, the affairs of which are managed by its members or a committee or committees of its members, with an annual income net of tax of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
  4. a trustee of a trust with an asset value of less than £1 million at the time at which the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
  5. a personal representative of an estate of a person; or
  6. a beneficiary of an estate of a person.