1 – Introduction
1.1 iLaw (‘our firm’) is committed to providing outstanding client services to all clients, and we will always endeavour to provide you with high quality, professional legal services. Our firm aims to treat all our clients fairly and courteously, and we take pride in our long-lasting client relationships.
1.2 We sincerely hope that you will not have any experience with our firm about which you want to make a complaint. However, if you feel that we have failed to achieve an acceptable standard of service, we would like you to tell us. Please rest assured that we will take any complaints seriously. We ask that you let us know as soon as possible so that we can investigate your concerns and try to solve any problems as quickly as possible.
1.3 This document sets out the internal procedures that we will follow. This document also tells you about your rights to complain externally to our internal complaints procedure, and the processes for how you may do this.
1.4 We do not charge any fees for handling complaints in accordance with the procedures below.
2 – Informal Complaints Resolution
2.1 In the first instance, we would ask that you notify the lawyer dealing with your work or with the director who is managing your relationship with our firm. This allows them to attempt to deal with your concerns informally and directly. We believe that in most cases this is often the most efficient method of addressing your concerns, and where appropriate, allows for any such issues to be quickly resolved.
3 – Formal Complaints Procedure
3.1 Alternatively, or if you do not feel that your concern has been adequately addressed by the lawyer(s) in clause 2.1 above, you may make a formal complaint to our firm’s Managing Director, Justin Ellis, who may be contacted either by email (complaints@iLaw.co.uk), in writing (Justin Ellis, iLaw, Temple Chambers, 3-7 Temple Avenue, London, EC4Y 0HP), or by telephone (+44 (0)203 9622 230).
3.2 In making a complaint, we ask that you give as much information as you believe is necessary for us to properly understand your concern. In order to investigate the complaint expediently we ask that you: i) Clearly explain the nature of your complaint; ii) Describe any facts and events relating to it that you believe may be relevant; iii) Provide copies of any relevant documentation; iv) If applicable, explain why you think that a member of staff has made a mistake; v) If applicable, state what loss you have incurred as a result.
3.3 The Managing Director should acknowledge your concern within 5 working days of receiving your complaint.
3.4 Every formal complaint made to the Managing Director will be thoroughly investigated, either personally, or by another member of our senior management team where we consider this appropriate. We may ask you for further information and/or to attend a meeting to discuss your complaint in more detail.
3.5 The Managing Director will endeavour to write to you confirming the firm’s full and final position regarding your complaint within 28 days of the time when he has all the necessary information, although it is highly likely that he will write to you much sooner. In the unlikely event that he is unable to confirm the firm’s final position within this timeframe, he will write to you notifying you of this fact and giving the reasons why.
3.6 To obtain your feedback the Managing Director will request that you acknowledge receipt of his findings. If we do not receive an acknowledgement of this letter within one month, we will assume that you are satisfied with our response and that the complaint has been settled.
3.7 We sincerely hope that this final position will be satisfactory and that we will have adequately addressed all of your concerns.
4 – Referring your Complaint to the Legal Ombudsman
4.1 If you do not feel satisfied with our response and the matter is still not resolved at the conclusion of our internal complaints process, you may be entitled to refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales.
4.2 The Legal Ombudsman is an independent complaints body which was established under the Legal Services Act 2007 to resolve service complaints about legal service providers.
4.3 The Legal Ombudsman service may be used by all members of the public. Small businesses are eligible to use the service provided they do not employ more than nine full-time staff, and do not have an annual turnover or balance sheet total in excess of €2,000,000. Small charities, clubs, and trusts below a certain size may also be eligible to use the service, and you should contact the Legal Ombudsman to confirm whether this applies to you.
4.4 The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted:
– By Phone: 0300 555 0333
– By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– By Writing: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.
4.5 Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with our firm first. You can only bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman if: i) We have written to you with our final response to your complaint; or ii) Eight weeks have passed since you first notified us of your complaint.
4.6 If you wish to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, this must usually be done within six months of our final response to your complaint. Please note that in any case, the Legal Ombudsman can only investigate complaints up to six years from the date of the problem happening, or within three years of when you found out about the problem or should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint. 4.7 For further details of the Legal Ombudsman process, please refer to their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
5 – The Solicitors Regulation Authority
5.1 We are a law firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, stealing or losing your money, or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability, or other characteristic. You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority directly at www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page. You may confirm this website’s authenticity via the link below:
6 – Alternative Dispute Resolution
6.1 In accordance with the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Amendment) Regulations 2015 we are required to inform you of alternative complaints bodies which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme (such as ProMediate or the Small Claims Mediation Service).
6.2 We do not agree to use ProMediate or the Small Claims Mediation Service. If you wish to discuss the matter of mediation further, please contact our Managing Director.
7 – Complaints about Fees
7.1 If you have a complaint about a fee or believe that we have incorrectly invoiced you, you should notify us of this with details of your complaint as soon as possible. Please address your complaint to our Managing Director, Justin Ellis, who may be contacted either by email (complaints@iLaw.co.uk), in writing (Justin Ellis, iLaw, Temple Chambers, 3-7 Temple Avenue, London, EC4Y 0HP), or by telephone (+44 (0)203 9622 230).
7.2 Please note that unless the Managing Director informs you in writing to the contrary, all invoices remain due and payable within 14 days of the invoice. We also reserve the right to charge interest on unpaid invoices in accordance with our Terms of Business.
7.3 If you are not satisfied with the amount of our fees, you may be entitled to make an application to the Court to have our charges reviewed. The procedure for this is set out in sections 70, 71, and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you are not a client of our firm, but you have paid or are otherwise liable to pay our fees, whether directly or indirectly, you may also be entitled to make an application to the Court to have our charges reviewed. A copy of these sections will be provided upon written request or are available for free at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/47/.