Complaints Policy

January 2015

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients and to the people with whom we deal.  If something goes wrong, or if we are not providing the service that is required, we need you to tell us about it. We treat all complaints seriously and will do our best to resolve them to our clients’ satisfaction as quickly as possible.

We will investigate your complaint fully and fairly. We will respect our clients’ confidentiality, and any complaint will not affect any future business we undertake on your behalf.

Our Complaints Procedure

If you have a concern or complaint then please contact us as soon as you are aware of the problem so that this can be addressed.  If you feel you are able to resolve this with the lawyer you have been dealing with then please contact them in the first instance. If you feel that you are not able to resolve it with them then please contact Mr Lee Hassall, our Client Care Director: You can write to him at 20 Fore Street, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 1NZ or email him at lmh@bartons.co.uk.

What will happen next?

  1. Within five days we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and enclosing a copy of this procedure and asking you to confirm or explain any details. If it seems appropriate we will suggest a meeting at this stage. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. This will ordinarily be Lee Hassall.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Lee Hassall, who will review your matter file and speak to the lawyer who acted for you.
  3. Mr Hassall will then provide you with a full response to your complaint within 5 working days following the acknowledgement sent to you, or if appropriate, clarify matters before a full response is provided.
  4. If appropriate we will then invite you to meet Lee Hassall to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We would hope to be in a position to meet with you in this way no longer than 14 days after first receiving your complaint.
  5. Within three days of the meeting Lee Hassall will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.  In appropriate cases we could offer an apology, a reduction of any bill or a repayment in relation to any payment received
  6. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreed timescale, we will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including Mr Hassall’s  suggestions for resolving the matter within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  7. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will consider your comments and arrange to review our decision.  We would generally aim to do this within 10 days.  This will happen in one of the following ways.- Lee Hassall will review his own decision
    – We will arrange for a Director in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it within 10 days
    – We will ask our local law society to review your complaint. We will let you know how long this process will take.
    – We will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take.
  8. We will let you know the result of the review within 5 days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.  If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved.  Contact details are given below.  There are time limits in which you must notify the Legal Ombudsman of any complaint. You must contact them as soon as you can if your complaint is not resolved but no later than six months after your last contact with us. For further details on their service you can telephone them or visit their website.

    Legal Ombudsman,
    PO Box 6806,
    Wolverhampton,
    WV1 9WJ.
    Tel:  0300 555 0333,
    Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk,
    Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

  9. What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour:

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. 
    Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

If we have to change any of the timescales or alter the procedure in any way for good reason, we will let you know how and explain the reasons.