We aim to offer our clients an efficient and effective service and have a complaints procedure in place to handle situations where we fall below these standards. A copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.
If any problems arise or, indeed, you have any suggestions on how we can improve our services to you, then please discuss them with us. In such a case, you should first feedback to or discuss your concern with the person handling your matter. Our aim will always be to deal with your concerns as quickly as possible and without recourse to any formal complaints procedure, if that is possible
If you wish to take the matter further after speaking to that person or if you would prefer not to discuss the problem with that person you should contact the partner of the firm who heads the department dealing with your matter. The contact details will be provided in the Engagement Letter.
If it is clear that you remain dissatisfied the partner will inform you of the existence of our formal complaints procedure and will send you a copy of this procedure. In summary, this procedure is as follows:
You should write to the Principal and clearly mark your letter "formal complaint". Please outline the cause of your dissatisfaction and if possible the action you would like us to take in order to remedy that dissatisfaction.
In our experience the longer the delay between an event which could give grounds for complaint and the date on which the complaint is made the more difficult it is for matters to be put right to the complaining party's satisfaction. Please notify us of any such event as soon as practicable.
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days and inform you of the name of the person who is dealing with your complaint. We will normally ask an independent complaints investigator to consider your complaint and recommend the action that we should take in relation to the complaint. We will record your complaint in our central register which is reviewed regularly by the De Jure Board.
The person investigating the complaint will have full access to all the information and personnel that they require to investigate your complaint properly. They may contact you directly if they need further information from you to assist the investigation.
They will prepare a report, including their recommendations, which is sent to the Principal for review.
We will ask the person investigating the complaint to recommend the action which they believe would be recommended by the Legal Ombudsman if the complaint was referred to the Legal Ombudsman.
The Principal will write to you and will include the recommendations from the person investigating the complaint and the action we propose to take to implement those recommendations.
We will generally follow the recommendations made but if we think they are not appropriate we will explain our reasons to you.
You should receive a response to your complaint from the Principal within 21 days of receiving the letter acknowledging your complaint.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will contact you to explain why.
If you are still not satisfied, the next step is for you to contact the Legal Ombudsman by one of the following methods:
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Telephone outside the UK: + 44 12245 3050
In writing: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
You must contact the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the occurrence of the matter about which you are complaining (or if outside this period, within three years of the date when you should reasonably have been aware of it).
If you are dissatisfied with our bill, you have the right to apply to the High Court for an assessment of our charges by an Officer of the Court under ss. 70, 71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974. We hope that before making such an application you would first use our complaints procedure explained above.
If you no longer want us to act for you - either in general or on a specific matter - you can write to De Jure to let us know. We will send you a final bill for the work we have done for you up to the date we receive your written instructions to cease work. You may have a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; if all or part of the bill remains unpaid we may be entitled to charge interest.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help 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. To see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, please visit their website - https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/.