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, and, in any event, no later than 1 year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or no later than 1 year of when you should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint.

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?

  1. We will record your complaint in our central register.
  2. 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. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
  3. 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.
  1. We will aim to write fully to you setting out our views on the situation and any redress that we feel to be appropriate within 28 days of first receiving your complaint. If we need more time, we will let you know, but it will not be more than 8 weeks since first receiving your complaint, in any event.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and, in any event, no later than 1 year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or no later than 1 year of when you should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint.

If you are unhappy with our behaviour, 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 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).

Contact Information

Complaints Partner

Jeff Williams
FSM Solicitors LLP
Castle House, Castle Street
BA14 8AX

Tel: 01225 755621

Deputy Complaints Partner

Matthew Paterson
FSM Solicitors LLP
59 High Street
SN16 9AH

Tel: 01666 822671

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 6167,


Tel: 0300 555 0333

Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)

The Cube
199 Wharfside Street
B1 1RN


0370 606 2555


Reviewed January 2024