The SRA Code of Conduct 2011 Section 1B (1.22) requires Solicitors to operate a Complaints Handling Procedure and to ensure that clients are told whom to approach in the event of any problem with the service provided by Solicitors. Clients are entitled to request a copy of the Firm’s Complaints Handling Procedure.
This is Mercers’ Complaints Handling Procedure.
At the beginning of every matter, the Fee Earner and Supervising Partner will ensure that the client knows who is dealing with his or her matter and receives information on what to do if unhappy with any aspect of the service received. Initially, you should talk with the person responsible for the day to day handling of your work and/or the Partner with overall responsibility for it (the Supervising Partner) who will try to resolve any problems quickly. They will also explain what other courses of action are open to you. It is hoped that any problems, particularly if they are reported early, will be resolved at this level.
If the complaint cannot be resolved satisfactorily at Level 1, the complaint should be referred to the Client Relations Partner, Paul Stott, who will investigate the complaint and endeavour to resolve it. The procedure will be as follows:-
- Paul Stott will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- Paul Stott will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve him reviewing your matter file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you.
- Paul Stott will then either invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint or alternatively, if you prefer, will discuss the matter with you over the telephone. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within three days of the meeting or phone call, Paul Stott will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or phone discussion, or if it is not possible, Paul Stott will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
If the complaint cannot be resolved satisfactorily at Level 2, you can contact The Legal Ombudsman.
PO Box 6806
Generally, the Legal Ombudsman can consider complaints from individuals, small businesses and small Trusts, Estates, Charities and Clubs. If in doubt, the Ombudsman can clarify the position 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 contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.