We are committed to providing a quality legal service to all our clients. Consequently it is essential, when something goes wrong or any client believes they have reason to complain, that we have an effective procedure to assist the complete and early resolution of the problem. Only by doing so can we hope to maintain the quality standards we have set and improve them by learning from what may have gone wrong and what our clients tell us.
Although not essential, in making your complaint it would be helpful to us if you could provide details of your concerns in writing (if you have not already done so). If you would prefer not to have to do this, please arrange to see us and we will be pleased to take details from you.
What will happen next
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, set out our understanding of it and request your confirmation or seek any necessary clarification. We will confirm who will deal with your complaint. We will register the complaint in our records (for management purposes).
Timescale: Within 3 days of receipt of complaint.
We will then commence an investigation of your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps:
2.1 We will ask the fee earner who acted for you to provide us with a response to your complaint.
2.2 We will then examine the response and the file as against your complaint and, if necessary, speak to the fee earner.
2.3 The firm’s client care partner will consider your complaint in the light of what the file reveals and the fee earner’s response.
Timescale: Within a further 18 days.
The firm’s client care partner will then write to you with a detailed response. Hopefully this will resolve your complaint.
Timescale: Within a further 3 days.
If your complaint is not resolved please contact the client care partner to arrange a meeting between us. We will write to you to confirm what took place at that meeting and detailing any agreed solution that was reached.
Timescale: within 3 working days of the meeting.
If, at a meeting or from your written reply to our detailed written response, you remain dissatisfied with what we have said and how we propose resolving your complaint, we will arrange for our decision to be reviewed. This may happen in one of the following ways:-
5.1 Our own review of our handling of your complaint and why you are dissatisfied with our decision.
Timescale: Within 5 days.
5.2 By arranging for someone else in the firm who is entirely unconnected with the complaint to review how it was handled and the decision taken.
Timescale: Within 10 days.
5.3 By asking our local Law Society or another local firm of solicitors to review our handling of, and the decision on, your complaint (if they are willing to do this). This might take the form of mediation or some other type of alternative dispute resolution.
Timescale: Within 10 days.
After the review has taken place you will be informed of the outcome.
Timescale: Within 5 days of the conclusion of the review.
If you still remain dissatisfied with how your complaint has been handled and the decision on it, we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining why we consider our handling of it, and our decision (and the result of any review), were reasonable. If you remain dissatisfied at the end of our complaints process, you would then be at liberty to contact the Legal Ombudsman, whose address is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Their telephone number is 0300 555 0333. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . Their website is at www.legalombudsman.org.uk . That organisation is the statutory body to whom you may refer your complaint, once we have concluded our professional obligation to try to resolve it. The current time limit for you to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman are six years from the date of our act or omission, three years from when you should of known about the complaint and 6 months from our final response to the complaint. The current Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules can be found at https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/corporate-publications/scheme-rules/. These rules will change on 1st April 2023 so that you have a year from the date of the act or omission, or a year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. Details of the upcoming changes can be found by following this link to https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/news/changes-to-the-legal-ombudsman-s-scheme-rules/
Under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/452) alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should you and Hibberts agree to use such a scheme. The website for ProMediate is www.promediate.co.uk and there is a tab for complaints about “professionals”. We do not agree to use Promediate. We consider that the Legal Ombudsman is the most appropriate means of resolving any dispute. If you would like to make representations as to why we should use ProMediate then you may do so. We will not consider using ProMediate if the matter has already been dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman.
Number of clients who would recommend us to others