Complaint HandlingEven those with the most robust client care practices will receive complaints from time to time. Not all complaints are justified but inevitably in a busy practice there will be times when things get overlooked and service standards slip. It is vital to approach all complaints with an open mind and ensure that you have good complaint handling processes in place. This can be critical to the outcome for both your client and your business. Handle a complaint poorly and not only will it absorb a huge amount of your (fee earning) time, you may also find yourself before the the Legal Ombudsman (LeO). If matters get that far you will almost certainly have lost your hard won client.

As law firm owners and Heads of Chambers will know, both the SRA and the BSB Transparency Rules set out the service redress requirements your regulators expect you to adhere to. Swift and effective complaint handling is a pre-requisite to retaining your client. Not every client who complains is a lost client. Some will vote with their feet but many others might be retained if their concerns are addressed fairly and promptly.

As many will know, a referral to LeO can be a drawn out process. Clients have up to six months to refer their complaint to the Ombudsman and once referred it can take several months for a caseworker to make contact. In addition to the time cost, if the Ombudsman finds in the client’s favour (or feels that any remedy previously offered by you is insufficient), they will charge a case fee of (currently) £400.  All decision data is published on its website – accessible to the public and your prospective clients.

None of this is good news for your business. It takes a significant amount of time and money to win new business; business which can be lost very quickly. Add to this negative social media and other reviews and the damage can be considerable.

So, how can we help you?

We can provide an impartial and prompt complaint handling service on either a retainer or ad hoc basis to suit your business needs from initial contact with your client to liaising with the Legal Ombudsman if required.

We can also undertake a review of your complaint handling policy and procedure to ensure that it complies with best practice and your regulator’s requirements. Get in touch with us today for all your complaint handling needs.


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  • Register of Overseas Entities

Register of Overseas Entities

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