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Complaints Procedure

1. Introduction

We try to make every effort to meet our clients’ needs and expectations. However, should we fail to do so in any respect and a client wishes to make a formal complaint, this guide sets out the procedure to be followed.

Our aim is to resolve complaints promptly and to learn from them, making any necessary improvements to our services. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (contact details below).

2.      How to complain

You may complain by telephone, post, fax or email. We ask that you identify the partner or fee earner concerned, the matter in question and that you provide a concise summary of your complaint, together with your contact details.

3.         To whom should you address your complaint?

Please address your complaint to Simon Biggin at:

Hewitsons LLP
Shakespeare House
42 Newmarket Road
Cambridge
CB5 8EP

Telephone:
01223 461155.
Fax:
01223 311949.
Email:
 simonbiggin@hewitsons.com

4.         Acknowledging your complaint

We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receipt.

At the same time, we will explain to you who will be investigating and responding to your complaint and the likely timescale.

5.         Investigating and responding to your complaint

For management and administration purposes, the firm is divided into sections and business units, each with a Section Head and Professional Supervisor.  Depending on the nature of your complaint and which of our offices it relates to, it will be investigated by and responded to by Simon Biggin or Rebecca Austin, or a Section Head, or a Professional Supervisor.

As to timescale, we aim to provide a detailed response within 15 working days of our letter acknowledging your complaint.  However, in cases where we need to obtain further information or the matter is particularly complex, this may not be possible; we will then write to you explaining the reason for the delay and giving you a new date as to when you can expect to receive our detailed response.  We may also ask you to meet with us in order to discuss your complaint, as part of the resolution process.

6.         The Legal Ombudsman

If you are still not satisfied you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007, that deals with legal services complaints.

Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). His contact details are:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ 

Telephone:
0300 555 0333
Email address: 
enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Website: 
www.legalombudsman.org.uk 

Please note that the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme only applies to certain types of clients.

Alternative complaints bodies


Alternative complaints bodies (such as ProMediate email address: enquiries@promediate.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. However, we do not agreed to use their service.

Assessment of your bill by the court


You may also have the right to apply to the court for an assessment of your bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. However, if part or all of a bill remains unpaid we may be entitled to charge interest. Please also note that the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if an application for assessment has been made.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)


Finally, if you have concerns that we have breached an SRA Principle, you should complain to the SRA. Further details can be found on their website sra.org.uk.


To download a copy of our Complaints Procedure, please click here.
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