Our complaints procedure
At Forrester Sylvester Mackett, we are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients and are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that you may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you raise any concerns at the first opportunity. If, however, you are unhappy about any aspects of the service you receive from us, including our charges, please let us know.
How to make a complaint
Stage One – If you are unhappy about any aspects of the service you have received from us, the first step is to raise them with the person carrying out your work, as they will be the best person to help you and respond quickly to you. If you would prefer to speak to someone else, please speak to the Head of Department who will aim to resolve your concerns. A response will be sent to you within 5 working days.
Stage Two – If the response you receive does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, then please raise a formal complaint with the Complaints Partner, Jeff Williams or in his absence, his deputy, Matthew Paterson. Details below.
What will happen next?
- We will record your complaint in our central register.
- Within five days of receiving your complaint (either verbally or in writing) we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and, if appropriate at that stage, asking you to provide more details. If it seems appropriate, we will suggest a meeting at this stage. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
- We will investigate your complaint by following the steps below:
-Discuss the complaint and your matter with the relevant individual who has had conduct of your file to establish the extent of your complaint and to consider if it is justified.
-Consider and review the relevant file to see if something has gone wrong and if your complaint can be substantiated, and if so to what extent.
- Within 28 days after first receiving your complaint, we will write fully to you setting out our views on the situation and any redress that we feel to be appropriate.
- If you are still not satisfied, please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within 14 days.
- We will let you know the result of our review within five days of the end of this process and write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
If you are still not satisfied and the complaint remains unsettled, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman. You must make your referral within 6 months of our final response or no later than 6 years from when the problem occurred or 3 years from when you should reasonably have become aware of the problem. If you continue to be dissatisfied, you can refer the matter to our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). We are duty bound to comply with the SRA Standards and Regulations. If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, and you feel we have breached these regulations or codes of conduct, you can refer the matter to the SRA to review. Details of how to raise matters with the SRA can be found on their website.
Alternative complaints bodies (such as Ombudsman Services: https://ombudsman-services.org and Small Claims Mediation www.small-claims-mediation.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should and you wish to use such a scheme. We have however, chosen not to adopt an alternative dispute resolution process. If, therefore, you wish to complain further you should contact the Legal Ombudsman or the SRA (as appropriate).
Tel: 01225 755621
Deputy Complaints Partner
Tel: 01666 822671
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)
0370 606 2555
Updated March 2021