Every client is notified of the existence of Codified Legal’s complaints procedure in our standard terms and conditions of business.
The person with overall responsibility for resolving complaints made against Codified Legal is Stephen Ollerenshaw, the Complaints Manager.
Complaints should be initially addressed to the individual solicitor dealing with the matter. As an alternative you may address any complaint to Stephen Ollerenshaw at our Birmingham Office.
A complaint may be made by letter, email or over the telephone.
Before setting out your complaint you may wish to review the guidance notes published by the Legal Ombudsman relating to complaints against solicitors. These are published on the Legal Ombudsman’s website, the details of which are provided below.
Please make any complaint as soon as possible following the acts or omissions about which you wish to complain and in any event within the time limits prescribed by the Legal Ombudsman referred to below (and which can be found on their website).
If your complaint concerns our fees, you may also have the right to challenge our fees by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitor’s Act 1974. Please note that certain time limits apply to these procedures and the Legal Ombudsman may not be able to consider a complaint about our fees if you have applied to the court for detailed assessment of our fees.
Dealing with Complaints
Complaints are initially dealt with by the person to whom they are addressed, whether in writing or orally. The person who receives the complaint will make an attendance note on a Complaint Form, an example of which will be provided to you on request.
Any action to be taken will be recorded on the complaint form and passed to the Complaints Manager for central record. The action to be taken will be confirmed to you in writing.
If you are not satisfied with the action taken or proposed, the Complaints Manager will take over responsibility for dealing with it. The Complaints Manager will look at the file and ask for further details from the solicitor involved and you the client. He may do this in writing or, if appropriate, by interview.
Our objective is to ensure that you get a prompt response to your complaint and to resolve the problem as quickly as possible so that you are satisfied the issue has been dealt with seriously and objectively.
Any corrective action to prevent any recurrence of the failure will also be considered and recommended.
No charge will be made to you for the work done in responding to your complaint.
After the Complaint
We hope that you will be satisfied with our commitment to resolve your complaint and that you will continue to work with us. However, we understand that you may wish to have another solicitor from our firm working on your files and if this is the case we will arrange for this to take place.
The Complaints Manager will ensure that any corrective action is implemented.
The Legal Ombudsman
If you are not satisfied with the response that we have provided to your complaint, then you may have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. This right is available to all individual clients and to some organisational clients.
The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against solicitors and may be contacted at:
The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
Please be aware that the Legal Ombudsman has published certain rules on its website in relation to complaints, including rules about:
- who can complain;
- the subject matter of complaints; and
- the time limits within which complaints need to be brought.
Should you wish to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, you must do so:
- within six months of receipt of our final written response; and
- within six years from the date of the act/omission, or three years from when you should have reasonably known about the complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman service is free of charge.
We may be required to notify some complaints to our insurers. How the matter will be dealt with thereafter will depend on whether the insurers wish to take over conduct of the complaint. This procedure does not imply admission of fault on our part but we are required to report to our insurers any circumstances that may give rise to a claim in accordance with the terms of our insurance cover.
The Solicitors Regulatory Authority
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA no. 371059). If you have a complaint about our conduct the SRA may be able to help you. They may be contacted at:
Solicitors Regulation Authority
199 Wharfside Street
Tel: 0370 606 2555