Our complaints policy
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
What is a complaint?
The SRA and the Legal Ombudsman define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction (oral or written) which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer):
· financial loss;
· inconvenience; or
· other detriment
Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint about our service or a bill that we have rendered on or both, please contact us with the details.
The person to contact is Mark Stewart, she can be reached at:
· Stewart Begum Solicitors, St Clare House, 30-33 Minories, London, EC3N 1DD
What will happen next?
1. We aim to provide you with an initial response to your complaint within 8 weeks of it. As a first step, we will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 10 days of us receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure or setting out its detail.
2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Mark Stewart who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you (if the complaint relates to Mark Stewart then Shofna Begum will investigate).
3. Mark Stewart (or Shofna Begum where the complaint relates to Mark Stewart) may invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. This will be done within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
4. Within 28 days of the meeting, Mark Stewart (or Shofna Begum where the complaint relates to Mark Stewart) will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions she has agreed with you.
5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not appropriate or practical, Mark Stewart (or Shofna Begum where the complaint relates to Mark Stewart) will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint (an ‘initial response’), including any suggestions for resolving the matter, within 8 weeks of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
6. At this stage, you will be invited to make any additional comments or add anything further within 21 days of the initial letter. If you confirm that you are satisfied with the reply (and any proposed remedy), then this will conclude the complaint process.
7. Where you remain unsatisfied, any comments you make will be taken into account and the initial response will be reconsidered in the light of your comments. Where appropriate, changes will be made to the initial response and this will become our ‘final response’. Our final response will be sent to you within 14 days of receiving your additional comments.
8. Where you do not provide any additional comments within 21 days of our initial letter, then our initial letter will become our final response. Where this happens we will write to you confirming the same.
9. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
10. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman at:
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333 or 0121 245 3050
There are time limits within which complaints must be made to the Legal Ombudsman, as indicated below:
· The problem (or the date when you found out about it) happened after 5 October 2010; and
· You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following:
o Six years of the problem happening or
o three years from the date you should reasonably have known about a ground for complaint; and
· You are referring your complaint within six months of our final response.
Normally, your complaint needs to fall inside the above time limits for the Ombudsman to investigate it but even if you are outside of this time you should check with the Ombudsman directly.
If you have concerns about our conduct or behaviour, or if you feel we have otherwise breached the SRA Principles (available at the SRA website - www.sra.org.uk), you may complain to the SRA. You may do so by visiting the SRA website, completing their report form, and sending to firstname.lastname@example.org or: Report, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN.