HM3 Legal Complaint Handling Procedure
At HM3 Legal, we are keen to ensure that we maintain the highest professional standards in all areas of our work and aim to deliver a “WOW” client experience as standard. However, we recognise that we don’t always get it right. So, if you feel something isn’t right, we would be grateful if you could tell us so we can try and fix things for you and learn from your experience.
This complaints procedure is in place for you to use if you are unhappy or concerned with any aspect of our legal advice, client service, your bill or how we treat you. Hopefully you won’t need to use it, but if you do, this procedure sets out how we will handle your concerns.
Resolving your issue informally
We want you to be completely satisfied at every stage of your matter. Should that not be the case, you should inform us immediately, and we will do our very best to resolve your concerns. As a first step, it may be helpful to contact the person acting for you to discuss your concerns, and they will try to resolve any issues. If your issue remains unresolved, you may wish to make a formal complaint.
Making a formal complaint
If you wish to make a formal complaint, please write, email or telephone details of your complaint to:
Paul Beckett, Operations & Risk Director, HM3 Legal, Gorse Stacks House, George Street, Chester CH1 3EQ.
Tel. 01244 318131.
Please ensure that you include your matter reference number in all correspondence so we can find your matter quickly.
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days.
Paul Beckett, or one of his colleagues, will investigate your complaint. The investigation will include reviewing the relevant files. Depending on the nature of your complaint, we may need to retrieve your file from our storage archives. The investigation will also involve us speaking with the person responsible for carrying out your work, and, where appropriate, the Head of Department.
We will write to you within 28 working days of our acknowledgement letter to provide either:
- A detailed written reply to your complaint, including any suggestions to resolve the matter.
- Advise you that we need to make further inquiries. Complaints come in different shapes and sizes, so dealing with your complaint may take longer than 28 working days. In this case, we will update you on the reasons for the delay and give you our anticipated response date. We will always endeavour to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible in all circumstances.
Senior Partner review
If you are still not satisfied with this response, you can request that a Senior Partner in the business review the case and the handling of your complaint. They will write to you within 14 working days of your request for a review confirming our final response to your complaint and explaining our reasons for this decision.
What if you disagree with our final response to your complaint?
If we are unable to resolve your complaint then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers.
The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within six years of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within three years of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.
However, please note that from 1 April 2023 these time limits are changing. From the 1 April the Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within a year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within a year of you realising there was a concern. The requirement to refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you remains the same.
Their contact details are:
The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
Tel: 0300 555 0333
You may also approach the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) if you are concerned about your solicitors behaviour. For example, if you think they have:
– Told lies.
– Stolen from you.
– Broken SRA Rules, details of which can be found in the SRA Handbook by clicking here.
You can contact the SRA directly using this link https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/