Our Complaints Policy
Customer service is fundamental to everything we do. We understand that engaging with the legal system can be daunting, and we strive to make the process as easy for you as possible. We always hope that your experience with Joseph Hill & Co is a good one, but we understand that sometimes things don’t always go the way you would like. This document outlines our policy for dealing with customer issues and handling service complaints. We are committed to making this process as fair and transparent as possible in order to provide you with a satisfactory resolution.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need our clients to tell us about it. This will help improve our standards. Whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problems with the person acting on your case to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you. Often, matters can be quickly resolved in this way.
At the outset of the case you will be given the name, address and telephone number of the person who will be dealing with your case and their Supervisor.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact us by post to our office at 220-224 High Road Tottenham London N.15 telephone 02088803535 or email [email protected]hoo.co.uk. In urgent matters you can contact us on 07768207041. We wish to be clear that we consider a complaint to be capable of arising whenever you feel dissatisfied or unhappy with our firm in respect of the service which we either have or you feel we should have provided to you. Our objective in those circumstances is to listen carefully to what you have to tell us so that we can identify and understand the cause for your complaint . If we receive a complaint we record this centrally and on your individual case file. The central records of complaints is reviewed regularly by the partners of the firm and formally at least annually so that we can learn from any mistakes. The primary complaints handler at our office is Mr Joseph Hill. We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints as follows:
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within four working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- We will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to the senior partner Mr Joseph Hill , who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you. Once we have done this it may be necessary to seek further information or clarification from you in order to progress our investigation into your complaint and so as to enable us to move on to the next stage.
- Mr Hill will then invite you to to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He/she will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within five working days of discussing the matter with Mr Hill he will write to you and confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
- If you do not want to discuss the matter verbally , or if for any reason it is not practicable to do so , you will be sent a detailed written reply to your complaint, including suggestions for resolving the matter, within 28 days of sending you the acknowledgement latter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another Partner within the firm to review the decision. The reviewing partner may request additional information from either or both you and or the lawyer who is dealing with your matter at our offices.
- We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If we have to change any of the above timescales we will let you know and explain why.
- If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. Contact details are as follows:
PO Box 6806
0300 555 0333
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.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.
Referral to the Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman’s objective is, in the first instance, to reconcile complaints and to assist clients and their solicitors to come to a mutual understanding. Referrals to the Legal Ombudsman should be made:
within six (6) years from the date of act/omission, or
three (3) years from when the complainant should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint (if the act took place more than six (6) years ago), and
within six (6) months of the complainant receiving a final response from their lawyer.
If your complaint is about your bill, you may have a right to apply to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you wish to take advantage of this procedure, you should be aware that there are strict time limits applicable and you may therefore wish to seek independent legal advice:
Within a month from the date of our invoice your right to a detailed assessment is unconditional
If you delay beyond a month the Court may impose restrictions
Once a year has elapsed since the date of the invoice you will lose the right to a detailed assessment, unless there are special circumstances.
You should be aware that the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the court for such an assessment. For further guidance about how to make a complaint, visit: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk
THE SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.