Our Complaints Policy
We are committed to providing a high-quality service to all our clients. But if something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
Where possible, we try to resolve concerns informally. We suggest that any issues are raised with the lawyer responsible for your matter, who will do their best to put things right.
However, if you are still unhappy after speaking to the lawyer, or are uncomfortable discussing any issues with your lawyer, you may raise a formal complaint by way of our complaints-handling procedure. In order to do this, please contact our risk & compliance manager by writing to Equitas Solicitors, 5, Fairways Office Park, Pitman Way Fulwood, Preston PR2 9LF or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can make a complaint?
Other than in certain limited circumstances, our complaints handling procedure is reserved for clients of the firm. Unless Equitas Solicitors has provided legal services to you as an individual, or to your business, you will not be able to complain through this procedure.
What can I complain about?
You may complain about any aspect of the service provided by Equitas Solicitors, including our fees. Please note, however, that in circumstances where you are pursuing a professional negligence claim against this firm, we will not deal with complaints arising out of the issues that form the basis of the negligence claim.
What to expect when you make a complaint
You will receive an acknowledgement within 3 working days from the person managing your complaint; this will be confirmed in writing or by phone explaining the next steps. We will confirm our understanding of your complaint.
At this stage we will carry out an internal investigation which will involve reviewing your file of papers and discussing your concerns with the lawyer who acted for you in order to find out what happened.
At the conclusion of the stage one investigation you will be notified of our findings; this will be confirmed in writing. The response will be issued within 8 weeks of the date you submitted your complaint unless there are unforeseen circumstances in which case you will be notified well in advance.
If you are still unhappy with the response and do not accept the outcome you can request for your complaint to have a second review (stage two of our process). The stage two investigation will be carried out by a member of the Compliance Department. Upon the conclusion of the second review you will be issued with a final response, concluding the internal process and will set out your options should you remain dissatisfied.
Can I appeal the outcome of my complaint?
If we are unable to resolve your complaint within eight weeks or you remain dissatisfied then you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman; an independent complaints body who can investigate complaints about the legal service you have received from us. The Legal Ombudsman can 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; and
• Within six months of receiving our final response.
The Legal Ombudsman details are:
• 0300 555 0333
• PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Alternative complaints bodies such as ADR Group (http://www.adrgroup. co.uk) are available however we do not agree to use these services because we consider that the service offered by the Legal Ombudsman is the most appropriate means of resolving matters between us.
If your complaint relates to a breach of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) Standards and Regulations (https://www.sra.org.uk/ solicitors/standards-regulations) and you are not happy with the response following our investigation, then you can make a report via the SRA’s website (https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor).