BPE Complaints Procedure
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately by letter, email or telephone, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our professional conduct. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or taking unfair advantage.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The telephone number to contact is 03706062555.
BPE Solicitors LLP is committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. If something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards. Your Complaint will be dealt with promptly, fairly and free of charge.
We have a 3 Stage Complaints Process. The process has 3 main aims and objectives:
- To provide a user-friendly way for people to complain about the service we have provided.
- To provide us with a procedure that helps us to respond quickly and efficiently to complaints
- To help us monitor our complaints so that we can understand where we may be going wrong and improve the way we work
You should address your concerns to our Client Care Officer, who is responsible for client care, or our Compliance Officer. Our Client Care Officer is Philip Radford (email@example.com) Telephone Number- 01242 248247 and our Compliance Officer is Patricia Lelliott (firstname.lastname@example.org) Telephone Number-01242 248284.
On receipt of a complaint, we will decide whether to refer the complaint for a stage 1 response or a stage 2 response from the Client Care Officer or Compliance Officer. All complaints are taken seriously and a response from the team where the complaint arose does not mean we regard it as less serious or less important. We would expect the majority of complaints to be dealt with by a stage 1 response and this decision will be made by the team leader where the complaint arose by liaising with the Client Care Officer or Compliance Officer.
The Client Care Officer and Compliance Officer will be available to advise the team in relation to that decision and will audit the process to ensure that the decisions are consistent.
If at any time either the team where the complaint arose, the Client Care Officer or Compliance Officer decides that a complaint referred for a stage 1 response becomes more suitable for a stage 2 response (or vice versa), the complaint will be transferred accordingly, you will be advised of our decision and the reasons will be explained.
We will acknowledge the complaint and advise you how the complaint will be dealt with and by whom. We aim to resolve most complaints on our first attempt, whether or not that is from the team where the complaint arose or the Client Care Officer/Compliance Officer.
We have eight weeks to resolve a complaint, after which you may refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman for resolution. This applies to individuals, businesses with fewer than 10 employees and turnover or assets not exceeding a certain threshold, charities or trusts with a net income of less than £1m, or if the client falls within certain other categories.
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and may ask you for further clarification of your complaint. We will record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will do this within 5 business days of receiving your complaint.
- We will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgement letter and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to hear from us within 2 business days of your reply.
- We will then start to investigate your complaint. This may involve one or more of the following steps:
- We may ask the Team leader of the person who acted for you to reply to your complaint otherwise the response will be from the Client Care Officer or Compliance Officer;
- We may examine the reply and the information in your complaint file. We may then ask the person who acted for you for more information.
- We will respond as soon as we can to your complaint.
4. We may invite you to meet our Client Care Officer or Compliance Officer to discuss and, it is hoped, resolve your complaint. We will do this within 5 business days of receiving all the details we need from the member of staff who acted for you. Within 2 business days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions we have agreed with you for resolving the matter. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, we will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. Depending on the nature of the matter and the availability of staff and papers this may take up to 20 business days, but we would expect to investigate simple complaints much more quickly.
5. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again within 5 business days and ask us to progress your complaint to Stage 3 of our Complaints Process. We will then arrange for another partner of the firm to review our decision within 10 business days. We will let you know the result of the review within 2 business days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why. If, at the end of our procedure you are still not satisfied, you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved. There are time limits for referring the matter to the Legal Ombudsman and normally you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or no more than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or no more than one year from the date when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
You can check these time limits by visiting the Legal Ombudsman website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted via their website, by telephone on 0300 555 0333 or by letter to: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.
6. Alternative approved complaints bodies such as ProMediate www.promediate.co.uk exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services, if we both agree, but as you are able to use the service of the Legal Ombudsman, we do not intend to use their scheme.
7. If you wish to make a complaint that relates to breaches of the Family Mediation Council’s Code of Practice or Standards Framework you must do so within 3 months of the alleged breach. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 10 days of receipt and will be investigated and responded to within 30 working days of receipt. If further time is required for the investigation then you will be notified in writing. You may wish to go to independent mediation. If we are in agreement with this, we can let you know how long this would take.
If our complaint response is not acceptable, the person making the complaint can ask the Family Mediation Standards Board to consider the complaint if certain criteria are met. Further information on how to make a complaint to the FMSB can be found at: www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/complaints-about-mediators/.
Version 6 11/5/23