What if Something Goes Wrong?

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. We acknowledge that we may not always get it right, so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to our charges, we need you to tell us. This will help us to improve our standards of service.

How do I make a complaint?

If you have a complaint, in the first instance discuss this with the person who is dealing with your matter. You can do this either by email, letter, fax or telephone.

If this does not resolve matters or you feel unable to discuss the matter with the person handling your case, in the first instance you should contact Jannine Savage:

Address: Cooper House, 4a-6a Hargreaves Street, Burnley, Lancashire BB11 1ES
Telephone: 01282 438446
Fax: 01282 446525
Email: jsavage@southernslaw.co.uk

Jannine will acknowledge the complaint and log this on to our case management system within 5 working days. Jannine will then pass your complaint to our external complaint handling company CRCS Legal Ltd within that 5 working day period. Their contact details are:

e-mail: enquiries@crcslegal.com
Tel: 0330 2210511
Address 86-90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE.

What will happen next?

A Complaint Manager from CRCS Legal Ltd will contact you either in writing, e-mail or telephone to confirm receipt of your complaint and to set out an understanding of your concerns.

You may be asked to provide any further comments, or further information, and you will be asked to confirm that the understanding is correct. You will also be asked how you would like to resolve your complaint. This will happen within 5 working days of CRCS Legal Ltd receiving the complaint from the firm.

If you do not confirm that the understanding is correct within 7 days, it will be assumed that the summary is correct, and the Complaint Manager will move to the next stage.

The Complaint Manager will request a copy of your file from the firm for review.

The Complaint Manager may also speak with the person involved at the firm, if it is necessary to address your concerns and a review of your file will be undertaken. This action will take place within 21 working days of your providing further information or clarification that the summary is correct.

The Complaint Manager will then write to you setting out their view of your complaint and making any proposal for resolution, within 7 working days of completing the review. You will be asked to provide any further comments and to consider any resolution that is being proposed.

If you provide any further comments, these will be addressed within 7 working days of receipt of those further comments.

Once all of the issues you have raised have been addressed, the file in respect of your complaint will be closed and the outcome recorded on the firm’s case management system.

NB The timescales are subject to the Complaint Manager’s availability, for example, they may have to change to allow for holiday or absence from the office. If the timescale has to change you will be advised accordingly.

What will it cost?

There will be no charge to you for handling your complaint. If you have a bill that is outstanding with the firm, making a complaint will not have any effect on that. The firm may still pursue it in accordance with their recovery procedure and interest may be charged in line with the Terms of Business.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

We have 8 weeks in which to deal with your complaint. If we do not deal with it within this timeframe or if you still remain unhappy, you can raise your concerns with the Legal Ombudsman whose contact details are as follows:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

A referral must be made to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the date of the letter confirming the investigation has come to an end and your file is closed in relation to the complaint that has been dealt with. In any event, you must raise the formal complaint within 6 years of the incident giving rise to the complaint: this timescale being applicable after 6 October 2010. If your complaint relates to an incident prior to this date you must raise the issues within 3 years of when you reasonably should have known you had a complaint.

Alternative complaints bodies (such as Promediate) exist which are able to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and we wish to use such a scheme, however, the firm would not agree to using an alternative complaint body.

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.

They can be contacted via their website: https://www.sra.org.uk/home/contact-us/

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