Your right to complain
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our level best to resolve the problem.
We hope that you will never have reason to complain about our service to you, however, if something does go wrong, 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 Partner is responsible for this procedure.
Do you have a complaint against Excel Solicitors & Advocates?
Solicitors are entitled to reasonably refuse requests for legal assistance and representation. Refusals must not be based on age, disability, gender, religion, sex orientation or other personal characteristic. Reasonable reasons to refuse to provide a service include that we are too busy, that the client is unable to fund the work required, that the matter is outside our expertise and that the case is too difficult or complex.
We will have provided you with the reason why we cannot assist you when responding to your request for assistance. If you are unhappy with our response you may wish first to contact the lawyer who reviewed your enquiry. However, if you are not comfortable speaking to that lawyer, you can also ask to speak to their supervisor or the Complaints Partner.
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 individuals 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. If your request has been reviewed by a solicitor who is not a Partner then the complaint should be made to the Partner that supervises that solicitor. However, if your request has been reviewed by a Partner, the head of that department will deal with it. If the request has been reviewed by a head of department another Partner in the department will respond to your complaint.
Your response letter may confirm which lawyer has reviewed your request, however, you should contact the author of the letter or the person you spoke to confirm that you would like to make a complaint.
You will then be informed in writing to whom any problem with service should be addressed.
The person dealing with your complaint will inform the Complaints Partner, that a complaint has been made for our complaints file and so that they 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 the Complaints Partner either by email on email@example.com or by post.
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within two days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure if you have not previously received it and advising you of the name of the Partner who will be handling your complaint.
We will then investigate your complaint. This will involve the Partner handling your complaint reviewing your matter and speak to the member(s) of staff who dealt with your enquiry.
The Partner will then write to you with their findings within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. However, if the complaint is complicated further time may be needed. If so, the Partner will write and tell you and set another time limit.
At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman,
about 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 contact The Legal Ombudsman directly.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
The Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Please see the Ombudsman’s website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
The Ombudsman will allow us a period of 8 weeks to resolve your complaint. The Ombudsman asks that you come to it as soon as you can and must do so within 6 months of your last contact with us. If the Ombudsman considers there are exceptional reasons to consider a complaint sooner or there is an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship, the Ombudsman may accept a complaint sooner.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and
No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour and that it may be in breach of the SRA’s Code of Conduct. You can find information on how and when to raise a concern with the SRA on the SRA website.
Please note our website has been verified by the SRA for your peace of mind.