Complaints Image

Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing an efficient and effective service, however if during your case you have a problem or are not happy with our service you need to let us know so that we can address your concerns and to help us improve our standards.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not. It will trigger the complaint procedure and can be made either orally or in writing. Yvonne Stevens has responsibility for the complaint procedure.

Our policy covers complaints about:

  • The standard of service we provide
  • The behaviour of our staff, and
  • Any action or lack of action by staff

Our standards for handling complaints

  • We treat all complaints seriously.
  • You will be treated with courtesy and fairness at all times. We would hope, too, that you will be courteous and fair in your dealings with our staff at all times.
  • We will treat your complaint in confidence within our practice.
  • We will deal with your complaint promptly. We will acknowledge receipt of a written complaint within 5 working days and we will send you a full reply within 20 working days of receipt. If we cannot send a full reply within 20 working days of receipt we will tell you the reason why and let you know when we will be able to reply in full.
  • We will not treat you less favourably than anyone else because of your:
    • Sex or marital status: this includes family status, responsibility for dependants, and gender (including gender reassignment, whether proposed, commenced or completed)
    • Sexual orientation
    • colour or race: this includes ethnic or national origin or nationality
    • Disability
    • Religious or political beliefs, or trade union affiliation, or
    • Other unjustifiable factors, for example language difficulties or age.

Confidentiality

All complaints received will be dealt with confidentially and in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.

How to Complain

You can make a complaint to the addresses below in a number of ways:

  • By telephone
  • By email
  • In writing or letter
  • In person

To resolve your complaint quickly if you can give us as much clear detail as possible, including any documents and correspondence and stating that you are making a complaint in line with our procedure.

You must complain within one month of the cause for complaint happening. Failure to do so will mean we may not be able to acknowledge your complaint.

The Complaints Procedure

1.This is the first opportunity for us to resolve a complainant’s dissatisfaction, and we aim to resolve the complaint within 20 working days. We will acknowledge the receipt of the complaint within 5 working days and full response within 20 working days.

2.We will investigate your complaint which will be dealt with by Yvonne Stevens the principle of Owens Stevens Solicitors. Yvonne will review your file and invite you to attend a meeting to discuss the issues raised to resolve the matter.

3.After the meeting within 5 working days Yvonne will write to confirm the steps to be taken/agreed upon to resolve your complaint.

4.If you do not wish to attend a meeting or not able to attend, Yvonne will write to you with a full response to your complaint including steps to be taken to resolve the matter.

5.Once you the complaint has been fully investigated you will be notified as to the outcome.

Remedies

When we get things wrong we will act to:

  • Accept responsibility
  • Explain what went wrong and why, and
  • Put things right by making any changes required.

The action we take to put matters is that a complainant should, so far as possible, be put in the position he or she would have been in, had things not gone wrong.

The remedy chosen needs to be proportionate and appropriate to the failure in service and take into account what people are looking for when they complain. An apology is normally appropriate, but other action may also be necessary.

  • A sincere and meaningful apology, explaining what happened and or what went wrong) - an apology is not an acceptance of liability under Section 2 of the Compensation Act 2006
  • Putting things right (for example change of procedures to prevent future difficulties of a similar kind, either for the complainant or others)
  • Training or supervising staff; or any combination of these

Recording complaints

We will log all complaints we receive so that we can monitor the types of problems, the best way to sort them out and how long we are taking to deal with them. This also helps us to take a closer look at how we can improve our own service delivery.

We will handle your information in line with data-protection legislation.

If you remain dissatisfied

If having followed our complaints procedure you still remain dissatisfied, you can ask to have your complaint considered by the Legal Services Ombudsman.

The address to contact the Legal Service Ombudsman is:-

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

Alternatively you can contact them by:
Telephone: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 am to 5pm
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Please note:-

The time limits from making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman is

  • No more than 6 years from the date of act/omission or
  • No more than 3 years from when you should reasonably have known there was a case for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness were before 6 October 2010.

Contacting us

All complaints and requests for review under our complaints procedures should be sent to

Yvonne Stevens
Owens Stevens Solicitors
28 Downs Road
Clapton
London
E5 8DS

Or

0208 986 7555 / info@owensstevens.org.uk