If you are dissatisfied with the service we have provided then you have the right to complain. The Legal Ombudsman service has been operational since October 6th, 2010 and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that complaints are dealt with appropriately.
However, before you contact the Legal Ombudsman you must first register an official complaint with us. Normally, the Legal Ombudsman expects you to give us 8 weeks to try to resolve the matter. If after 8 weeks you are still dissatisfied you can then involve the Legal Ombudsman. For more information on how the Legal Ombudsman works please visit the Legal Ombudsman website.
In normal circumstances you are required to register a complaint within one year. You must then give us 8 weeks to try to resolve your complaint before contacting the Legal Ombudsman. A complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must normally be made within six months of the date of the conclusion of the Firm's complaints procedure. In summary:
- You must register your complaint with us within one year
- The Legal Ombudsman expects you to give us 8 weeks to try to resolve your complaint
- After this time, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman (but you must do so within 6 months)
To register a formal complaint, please write to us and include all the information suggested by the Legal Ombudsman - their website includes some useful checklists and sample letters.
In addition to the Legal Ombudsman, several other complaints bodies exist which are also able to deal with complaints about legal services - these are: Ombudsman Services, ProMediate, Small Claims Mediation and the European Online Dispute Resolution platform. Information about these alternatives can be found at:
How and when a complaint can be made to the SRA
The SRA work with solicitors, firms, other types of lawyers and non-lawyers to make sure that we comply with their principles, to make sure we behave independently, fairly and with integrity to best serve the interest of our client and the public interest.
Kindly note that the SRA do not deal with issues of poor service. If your complaint is in relation to poor service you would need to exhaust our internal complaints procedure. If you are still not satisfied you have a right to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
When can you make a complaint to the SRA
The SRA deal with cases where firms or those who are regulated have breached SRA Principles You should report the matter directly to the SRA if you think we or anyone regulated by the SRA has breached an SRA Principle.
There are seven Principles that all people and law firms we regulate must meet. This means that they must act:
- In a way that upholds the constitutional principle of the rule of law, and the proper administration of justice
- In a way that uphold public trust and confidence in the solicitors' profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons
- With independence
- With honesty
- With integrity
- In a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion.
- In the best interests of each client.
You can also report a firm or someone regulated by the SRA for non-payment of professional fees (such as agent or expert fees) if:
- You have a county Court judgment in respect of the fee, and
- the judgment relates to the practice in connection with providing a legal service.