If you are dissatisfied with either the service you have received as a client or with any aspect of your bill, please raise your concerns with the partner in charge of your matter. Our aim will always be to deal with your concerns as quickly as possible and without recourse to any formal complaints procedure, if that is possible.
If it is clear that you remain dissatisfied the partner will inform you of the existence of our formal complaints procedure by sending you a copy of this procedure.
If you are an individual client rather than a representative of an organisational client, please use our formal complaints procedure described below.
If you are the representative of an organisational client and your dissatisfaction relates to the service provided by the partner in charge of your matter you should raise your concerns with the partner who manages the relationship with your organisation. If that is the same person or if you remain dissatisfied, please use our formal complaints procedure described below.
You should write to the Managing Partner and clearly mark your letter “formal complaint”. Please outline the cause of your dissatisfaction and if possible the action you would like us to take in order to remedy that dissatisfaction.
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days and inform you of the name of the person who is dealing with your complaint. We will normally ask an independent complaints investigator to consider your complaint and recommend the action that we should take in relation to the complaint. We will record your complaint in our central register which is reviewed regularly by the Management Board
The person investigating the complaint will have full access to all the information and personnel that they require to investigate your complaint properly. They may contact you directly if they need further information from you to assist the investigation. They will prepare a report, including their recommendations, which is sent to the Managing Partner for review.
We will ask the person investigating the complaint to recommend the action which they believe would be recommended by the Legal Ombudsman if the complaint was referred to the Legal Ombudsman.
The Managing Partner will write to you and will include the recommendations from the person investigating the complaint and the action we propose to take to implement those recommendations. We will generally follow the recommendations made but if we think they are not appropriate we will explain our reasons to you.
You should receive a response to your complaint from the Managing Partner within 21 days of receiving the letter acknowledging your complaint.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will contact you to explain why.
If you are still not satisfied, the next step is for you to contact the Legal Ombudsman by one of the following methods:
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Telephone outside the UK: + 44 12245 3050
In writing: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ www.legalombudsman.org.uk
You must contact the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the occurrence of the matter about which you are complaining (or if outside this period, within three years of the date when you should reasonably have been aware of it).
Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate (http://www.promediate.co.uk/) exist, which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. BWB does not agree to use ProMediate as we prefer the Legal Ombudsman’s clear adjudication process.
Complaints About Fees
If you are dissatisfied with our bill, you have the right to apply to the High Court for an assessment of our charges by an Officer of the Court under ss. 70, 71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974. We hope that before making such an application you would first use our complaints procedure explained above.
This policy was updated in 2013.