Have you got a complaint against New South Law Limited?
We hope that you will never have reason to complain about our service to you or a bill of costs that we send to you. However, if something does go wrong or the bill appears to be incorrect, please bring it to our attention as soon as you can. We will try to resolve the matter fairly and quickly. We will apologise if need be and do our best to offer a practical solution. The firm’s complaints director is Hayley Betteridge who is responsible for this procedure.
There is a body called the Legal Ombudsman, an independent body that handles complaints about legal services. Its details are The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 15870, Birmingham, B30 9EB, telephone 0300 555 0333. Legal Ombudsman email and Legal Ombudsman website.
The Legal Ombudsman has produced three helpful booklets to guide you if you have a complaint. We can let you have copies on request or you can find them on the Legal Ombudsman’s website. They are called Here to Help, Making a complaint and Guide to good complaints handling.
You can ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved at the end our internal complaints procedure, if you are unhappy with the outcome. The Legal Ombudsman has a helpline if you need to speak to them about how to make a complaint. Calls are charged at a local rate and will be recorded. There is no charge for the Ombudsman’s services.
A preliminary point
The relationship with your lawyer is built on trust and openness. You should be able to talk to your lawyer frankly about all sorts of things so that some complaints (and these are likely to be minor issues) might lend themselves to be resolved between by a simple phone call with your lawyer. However, if you are not comfortable speaking to your lawyer about the problem then speak to either their supervisor or Hayley Betteridge
How do I complain?
We much prefer that substantial or complicated complaints are dealt with in writing – we do not have any set forms that we use for this purpose. However, we realise that not all clients may be able to formulate a detailed letter. In such cases, a telephone call will do, during which we will make a note of the issues and then send that to you for comment. This document will then form the basis of the complaint.
Who do I complain to?
Our system is that, wherever possible, complaints are resolved within the department handling your case. You should look at the “Client Care” letter that you were sent at the start of your case. It will name the person in the firm to whom you should address your complaint. If your case is being handled by a solicitor who is not a partner then the complaint should be made to the partner that oversees your case. However, if your case is being run by a partner, the head of that department will deal with it. If the case is being run by a head of department another partner will be named in your letter to deal with your complaint.
Although you should know the name of the person dealing with your case, the reference in the top right hand corner of our letters will tell you the name of the fee-earner who deals with your case (the first initials).
You will be informed in writing by the lawyer having conduct of your matter if there is a change of person to whom any problem with service should be addressed.
The person dealing with your complaint will inform Hayley Betteridge that a complaint has been made for our complaints file and so that she can monitor progress of the complaint.
We hope that this simple procedure will deal with your concerns, however, if it does not you should write to Hayley Betteridge.
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. If at any point you become unhappy with the service we provide to you or you have concerns about your bill, then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem for you.
If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details.
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our principal solicitor, Ms Hayley Betteridge, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
Hayley Betteridge will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. She will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
Within three days of the meeting, Hayley Betteridge will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions she has agreed with you.
If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Hayley Betteridge will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint within eight weeks after you have brought it to our attention, then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about poor service from lawyers.
The Legal Ombudsman can investigate complaints up to six years from the date of the problem happening or within three years of when you found out about the problem. If you wish to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman this must be done within six months of our final response to your complaint. The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are as follows:
Telephone 0300 555 0333 between 8.30am to 5.30pm
Calls from both mobiles and landlines to 03 numbers cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers (starting 01 or 02). Calls are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes.
For minicom call 0300 555 1777
In writing: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Do not send original documents to the Legal Ombudsman. They will scan any documents you send to make computer copies and then destroy the originals.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of the date of our final written response on your complaint but for further information, you should email the Legal Ombudsman or call 0300 555 0333.
If you have a complaint about any of the people that we employ who are not solicitors then you should write to Hayley Betteridge.
Complaints regarding a data subject request under the General Data Protection Regulations are dealt with in accordance with this policy.