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Guide to our Complaints Handling Policy and Procedure
Our Complaints Handling Procedure
Obviously, we hope you will never have cause to complain about the service we provide to you as a client, however, should that happen it is important you are aware of the policy and procedure we have in place to ensure that you concerns are addressed and resolved.
For this reason we operate a complaint procedure that is followed to address client complaints and also allows us to examine and consider improvements to the quality of services we provide to our clients.
Who Should I Contact?
If you have a complaint, in the first instance we ask you to address this to the person dealing with your case, as this is the quickest way in which to resolve any issues that arise.
If this is not possible or you have already done so, but are not satisfied with the outcome then please contact our Client Care Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you don not have access to email then by telephone on 0208 546 7969 or by post to our Kingston office addressing the correspondence for the attention of our client care team.
Our client care team is comprised of Michele Crisp (Managing & Client Care Partner), Anneka Russel (Solicitor Manager) and Alpita Patel (Office Manager).
How Should I Make My Complaint?
If you are raising a complaint with the lawyer who has conduct of your case, then you should contact them in any of the usual ways you normally communicate, a phone call will usually be sufficient to address your concerns however if you feel that your concern is complex then it may be helpful to set it out in an email or letter.
If you have attempted to resolve your concerns with the person dealing with your case but this has not resulted in a satisfactory outcome, then you should then address your complaint to the client care team and the more formal complaint handling procedure will then be initiated.
Complaints to the client care team are best addressed in writing usually by email (or letter), so that the full facts may be set out clearly and without ambiguity, so that the client care team have a clear understanding of the issues you need to be considered.
If you require assistance in setting out the complaint, please contact the client care team on email@example.com seeking a call back so that help can be provided to do this.
What Happens Once I have Made a Complaint?
Once your complaint is received, a member of the Client Care Team will email you within 3 working days to confirm safe receipt and the initiation of the complaint procedure to formally record your complaint in our central register and open a separate file in respect of the complaint. You will be advised of the specific complaint reference. The client care team will then investigate the concerns raised by you in detail.
Within 10 working days or earlier, if there is a degree of urgency to the complaint, the Client Care Team member will examine the file and seek further information from the lawyer dealing with your case. If necessary, a member of our Client Care Team may ask you for further details by telephone, in a personal interview or by email.
The client care team will provide you with a substantive response to your complaint usually within 2 weeks of it being accepted for investigation however this will depend on the complexities raised and any time constraints surrounding the concerns raised. The Client Care Team will keep you updated of progress of investigations, so you are aware of how it is being dealt with
What Happens if my Complaint is About Fees?
If you have a query or concern about any invoice the firm has rendered to you, in the first instance we ask you to raise this with the lawyer who is dealing with your case as they will usually be best placed to address any concerns you may have.
If you are not satisfied with their response, the matter will be passed to our accounts department for further investigation.
For invoice queries please contact our Accounts Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 0208 546 7969.
If, having raised concerns with about invoices with the accounts team they remain unresolved then you also have the right to make an Application to the Court for an Assessment of the Bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. This must be done within 28 days of the date on the invoice.
How Do You Resolve Complaints?
We aim to resolve any concerns as quickly as possible and ideally within 14 days of the complaint having been received. We will always endeavour to resolve any complaint to the satisfaction of our client. If our Client Care Team consider that the complaint is justified then it will be resolved positively, for example with an apology, an explanation or perhaps transferring the matter to another lawyer within the firm, obviously resolution will depend on the nature of the concern that has been raised and tailored accordingly.
Whilst we would prefer that you have no reason to raise concerns or complaints, we understand that this unfortunately happens from time to time and have learned many valuable lessons from complaints and adapted our working practises where we have found these can be improved to provide our clients with an improved service and experience.
What Happens Once the Complaint Has Been Resolved?
Once the concerns have been resolved our Client Care Team will send you written confirmation of the outcome of the investigations. All the relevant paperwork are kept in our central Register of Complaints.
What Happens if my Complaint is Unresolved, or I am Dissatisfied with the Outcome?
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome our Client Care Team’s investigations and conclusions and it is confirmed that the firm’s complaint procedure has been exhausted, you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint.
Please note that the Legal Ombudsman will require you to have first presented your complaint to us to investigate using this procedure before they will consider if they examine the concerns you have raised.
The Legal Ombudsman has a website setting out how to make a complaint to them which can be accessed using the following link: -
The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted by email, phone or letter.
Phone: 0300 555 0333
Letter: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Who Can Sets Out the Standards of Work I Expect from My Solicitor?
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the body who govern the conduct of all Solicitors in England and Wales. They also regulate the profession and keep records on all Solicitors. You can obtain further information from the Solicitors Regulation Authority on their website https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/
What Do You Do with the Information Received in Complaints?
We carry out regular reviews, at least annually, of all and any complaints received by the firm to see whether any particular lessons can be drawn and ensure that these lessons are understood and addressed.
We believe that feedback from our clients has positively contributed to the levels of service we offer you. We are always eager to hear what you have to say about us.
Have Your Say on Our Complaints Procedure
Any suggestions regarding the improvement or amendments to our complaint’s procedure should be addressed to our Client Care Team at any of the contact details outlined above.
• PLEASE NOTE: We wish to make clear that our Complaints Handling Procedure applies to complaints about the quality of the service given to our clients, such as not keeping you informed of progress of your matter or failure to return telephone calls or failure to deal with your affairs promptly as you are entitled to expect. If an allegation of negligence is made against us, i.e. you feel our advice has been wrong or caused you loss of some kind, then we are obliged to report this to our Professional Indemnity Insurers who then have to approve all future correspondence with you about any such allegation and so negligence claims are not suitable to be dealt with under our internal Complaints Handling Procedure. Please note that if your complaint relates to the legal fees charged by Crisp & Co you may make an application to the Court for an Assessment of the Bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
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