Houldsworth Solicitors

Clitheroe: 01200 422152
Whalley: 01254 825757

200 Years of Service

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 effective procedures to assist an 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.


The Procedure


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


  1. We will register your complaint on our Register (for monitoring and management information purposes).

    Timescale:  Within 2 days of receipt of complaint.


  1. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, set out our understanding of it and request your confirmation or seek any necessary clarification.  We will also confirm who will deal with your complaint.

    Timescale: Within 3 days of receipt of complaint.


  1. We will then commence investigation your complaint.  This may involve one or more of the following steps: 


  1. We will ask the case worker who acted for you to provide us with a response to your complaint within 5 days.

    Timescale:  Within 1 day


  1. We will then examine the response and the file as against your complaint and, if necessary, speak to the case worker.

    Timescale:  Within 3 days of receipt of the response and file


  1. The firm’s client care partner will consider your complaint in the light of what the file reveals and the case worker’s response.

    Timescale: Within 7 days


  1. The firm’s client care partner will then write to you with a detailed response and inviting you to meet with us to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.

    Timescale: Within a further 3 days


  1. If a meeting between us take place we will write to you to confirm what took place and detailing any agreed solution that was reached.

    Timescale: Within 2 days of the meeting


  1. If a meeting is declined or is for some reason impractical we will write to you again in an endeavour to resolve the complaint to our mutual satisfaction.

    Timescale: Within 5 days of the meeting being declined


  1.  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: -

    a) Our own review of our handling of your complaint and why you are dissatisfied with our decision
    Timescale: Within 5 days

    b) 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

    c) 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).
    Timescale: Within 10 days
     
  2. 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 are still not satisfied you must then contact the Legal Ombudsman. If we must change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

We will also give you the name and address of the Legal Ombudsman (LEO). If you still remain unsatisfied, you can contact them about your complaint. The LEO will normally investigate complaints within six years from the act/omission complained of or three years from you realising the cause of your complaint. You must refer to the LEO within six months of the date of our written response to your complaint. Please be aware that the Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness was before 6 October 2010. The LEO may consider it appropriate to refer the matter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The address for the Legal Ombudsman is:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ
Helpline: 0300 555 0333
E-mail: enquiries@legalombusdman.org.uk


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.

If you are unhappy about how the LeO or SRA have dealt with your complaint you can complain to the Legal Services Ombudsman (LSO), who is responsible for dealing with complaints about legal professional bodies. The address for the Legal Services Ombudsman is:

Legal Services Ombudsman
3rd Floor Sunlight House
Quay Street Manchester
M3 3JZ
Helpline: 0845 601 0794
E-mail: lso@olso.gsi.gov.uk