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Call us now: Braintree 01376 552828 | Sudbury 01787 373387

Complaints Procedure

Our aim is to offer all our clients an efficient and effective service at all times.  We are proud that we hold a Legal Aid Agency Contract and are Law Society Accredited against Lexcel and the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Our clients and our staff are of first importance to us.

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to our clients.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to sort out any mistakes or misunderstandings, and to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint or observation about our service, please say so. You can do this in the first instance by speaking with the person who has conduct of your matter including any complaint about your bill.

If this does not resolve satisfactorily, you can contact Jacqui Johnson, the person nominated by the Practice to ensure prompt and thorough investigation of any complaint. She can be contacted by telephoning 01787 373387 or 01376 552828 or by email: j.johnson@steedllp.co.uk or by writing to her at our address.

What will happen next?

1.        We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within five days of receiving it.

2.        We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve our complaints handler reviewing your file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you.

3.         Within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter our complaints handler will then contact you by telephone to discuss the matter.  If appropriate, she will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and resolve your complaint.  If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, our complaints handler may instead offer you a chance to discuss the matter by telephone.

4.         Within five days of the meeting, or any telephone conversation we have with you instead of a meeting, our complaints handler will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.

5.         In any case she will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the written acknowledgement of your complaint referred to in paragraph 1 above.

6.        At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a partner unconnected with the matter at the firm to review her decision.

7.        We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

8.         If matters are still unresolved at this stage, you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint or alternatively, 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place from before 6 October 2010 or was more than 6 years ago).

9.         You can contact the Legal Ombudsman either by telephone on 0300 555 0333 or by writing to them at the following address : The Legal Ombudsman. PO BOX 6806, Wolverhampton. WV1 9WJ. Their website address is www.legalombudsman.org.uk; email address is enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk. 

10.       A complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must be one of the following :
- An individual;
- A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
- A charity with an annual income of less that £1 million;
- A club or association or society with annual income less than £1 million;
- A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or a personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman

11.       If you do not fall into any of these categories you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.

12.       You also have the right to object to your bill by making a complaint to the appropriate body referred to above and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors’ Act 1974 and, if all or part of our bill remains unpaid, we may be entitled to charge interest.

13.       If we have to change any of these timescales we will let you know and explain why.

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