At Harmans we pride ourselves on providing an excellent service and are dedicated to the continual improvement of our services. Occasionally however, things do not run as well as we would hope and, in such circumstances, we need to know about so that we can put it right and improve what we do in the future.
We would hope to be able to address your concerns without the need for a formal complaint and to that end we would ask that you first raise any issues that you have, either by telephone or in writing, with the fee earner concerned. It may be that they will be able to address the issue without the need for any formal intervention. If you are not happy, or if the issue cannot be resolved, then we ask that you put your complaint in writing.
In the event that you do wish to make a formal complaint, we aim to resolve it promptly, fairly and effectively and in any event, within eight weeks of it first being referred to us. We will never charge you for the time it takes us to handle your complaint.
How to make a complaint:
Please raise your complaint, either by telephone or in writing, with the complaints handling partner, Sara Gould (01992 917900 or firstname.lastname@example.org). In the absence of the complaints handling partner or if the matter concerns the complaints handling partner, your matter will be passed to one of the other Partners.
Please tell us who or what the complaint is about and when the problem happened or, if the problem is still ongoing, when it started and how you would like us to communicate with you (telephone, letter, or email).
What happens next:
We will acknowledge your complaint in writing. We will try and do this within 10 working days.
We will look into the details of your complaint and consider what we need to do to put things right. This might include:
- explaining what we think happened;
- apologising to you;
- repeating work, or parts of work, we did for you;
- reviewing our procedures so we do not repeat a mistake;
- reducing our fees;
- compensating you for any loss we caused you to suffer.
Once we have investigated your complaint, we will reply to you. We will do this within eight weeks of when you first complained to us. If you have asked us to contact you by telephone we will do so but we will also write to you.
If we have been unable to put things right, or if we have not resolved your complaint within eight weeks, you have the right to have your complaint independently considered by the Legal Ombudsman.
Prior to considering your complaint, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
- no more than six years from the date of the act/omission giving rise to the complaint; or
- no more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted using the following details:
Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
There are other alternative dispute resolution schemes that exist for example CADR, should we both agree to use such a scheme.
The Costs Lawyers Standards Board (CLSB)
Individual Costs Lawyers who work for us are regulated by the CLSB and the CLSB can investigate complaints about those Costs Lawyers’ professional conduct. If you wish to complain about a Costs Lawyer’s conduct, you should contact the CLSB promptly.
The CLSB will consider complaints made within 12 months of the date on which the matters giving rise to the complain occurred or the date on which the complainant first became aware that they had grounds for the complaint. This period can be extended in exceptional circumstances. The CLSB will usually expect you to give us a chase to resolve your complaint first.
The CLSB can be contacted using the following details:
Address: Centurion House, 129 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WR
Telephone: 0161 214 7904
Date: 24 May 2021