Complaints Handling

As required by the Law Society, we have a procedure for dealing with complaints from clients, suppliers of services and fellow professionals so that we can resolve as many as possible within the firm, stop complaints to the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and/or the Legal Ombudsman and preserve the goodwill of the client.

No doubt some of the complaints about us will be well founded. 

We all make mistakes and the principal will expect honesty and realism from any fee earner in respect of whom a complaint has been made.  The fee earner should in turn receive support from the principal.

Complaints must be dealt with sympathetically and quickly. 
Our reputation depends on this as it is all part of our “Quality Service”.

We aim to deal with complaints efficiently and therefore, Takk and Company Ltd have set a time period of 10 working days within which to respond to the initial complaint. 

Takk and Company Ltd may respond by letter/ email of by telephone.  The ten-day period shall commence upon the date which we receive the initial complaint in writing. 

This complaint shall be given a reference number, which will come from the clients file. 

This is only the case if client has a matter with us. If the person(s) do not have a matter with us then the reference number would come from the date of the initial Complaint.   

If Takk and Company Ltd receives a complaint an investigation would be commenced.  For example, we may investigate what the root cause of the complaint was. 

What is a Complaint?

If a client simply moans at you because it has taken you half-an-hour to return his or her call, clearly this may not amount to a complaint. 

If a client says that you continually delay in returning their calls or you don’t return calls at all, that is a complaint.  It would also be a complaint if the client is dissatisfied with the result of his case to the extent that he feels it necessary to contact the principal concerning the handling of his case by the fee earner concerned. 

Additionally, suppliers of services and fellow professionals may feel obliged to complain regarding either non-payment of fees or the quality of the professional service offered by the firm.

We call them “formal complaints” and we treat them all in the same way, even if an individual complaint may appear to be based on, for example, an unrealistic expectation of what we can do.

Clients are notified in our Terms of Business letters of their right to complain.  If they do, they must be told immediately by the fee earner that the matter will be considered by the principal (where a fee earner is concerned). 

If the complaint is so directed, the client must be told that the matter will be fully investigated.

How will the complaint be dealt with?

The principal will look at the file, and ask for full details from the complainant either in writing or by interview.  The fee earner will also be seen.

The whole object is to ensure that the client:

  • is satisfied that the complaint has been dealt with seriously;
  • gets a prompt response;
  • gets an assurance that the matter is being reviewed;
  • is notified as soon as possible of the outcome.

The Principal may also take the view that the complaint can be dealt with informally by way of say email communication, if it is felt that this is the best way of ensuring the client’s complaint is dealt with and also ensuring that the client remains happy with the firm.

The client may not be lost to the firm. 

Even though a fee earner may not agree that the complaint has any validity, the response from the firm may be to agree with some elements of the complaint and to assure the client that some effort will be made to remedy the problem.

Fee earners must understand that this is not intended to undermine their position.  We all have to accept a certain amount of criticism, in return, we hope for more satisfied clients.

Remedies of the Client

  • An apology from the firm and an assurance that it will not happen again, and that we will try to do better;
  • A reduction in the bill;
  • Abatement of the bill in total;
  • The right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman either on a matter of professional conduct, or the firm’s inadequate professional services and a right t complain to the SRA on a matter of professional conduct.
  • The right to see another solicitor and obtain advice as to whether we have been negligent.

What happens after a complaint?

Hopefully the client will be satisfied and the fee earner will continue with the file.  In some circumstances, if the solicitor/client relationship has broken down completely, it may be better for another fee earner to take the file over.  If you do continue with the file, every effort must be made to repair any damage in your relationship with the client.

All complaints must be notified to Jagmohan Singh Takk or Mr Stewart Lewis who keeps the complaint files.  The notification should outline the complaint and attach the original of any letter of complaint if one exists.

Fee Earners should send to Mr Takk or Mr Lewis all substantive correspondence and documents relating to the complaint and details of how the matter was dealt with.

He regularly reviews complaints to determine whether there are any trends.  He also works closely with those who have been complained about.

On the front of the complaints file a form will show the date of complaint plus what action has been taken to resolve this matter

The Legal Ombudsman

If, after complaining to you have not received a response within 8-weeks or are not satisfied with the final response, you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman, which is a free and independent service and has formal powers to resolve complaints about lawyers.

You may contact the Ombudsman by post to Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, by telephone on 0300 555 0333 (+44 121 245 3050 if calling from overseas or minicom on 0300 555 1777) and by e-mail at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk. Do not send original documents to the Ombudsman as they will scan any documents to make computer copies and then destroy the originals.

If you wish to complain to the Ombudsman, you should do so within 6-months of receiving Takk and Company’s final response to your complaint and no later than one year from when the problem you are complaining about happened, or one-years from when you found out about the problem. The Ombudsman’s website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk has information about how a client can complain to their lawyer and the Ombudsman.

Reporting us to the Solicitors Regulation Authority

If you have complained to us about breaching the SRA Code of Conduct and you are not satisfied with our response, you can report us to the SRA.

Solicitors must follow the code of conduct. Examples of a breach include:

  • dishonesty
  • fraud
  • discrimination

You may report us to the SRA or find more information on doing so via their official website by clicking here.

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