30 September 2020
Clients are always free to contact us with any query or are dissatisfied with the service that they receive from us. This is also mentioned in our Terms of Business, which is provided to all clients at the start of our working together.
We investigate all complaints made verbally or in writing.
It is only when you tell us about any dissatisfaction that we can take steps to put matters right for you.
In the first instance, if you have any queries or are unhappy about your case you should arrange to see the fee earner dealing with your case. If the discussion does not resolve the problem, please put your complaint in writing to Nigel Clarke who is the Principal.
Our Contact Details are:
Kent & Surrey Family Resolution
Canterbury Innovation Centre, University Road, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7FG
Telephone: 01227 811740
We investigate all complaints through this complaints procedure. Paper copies of this procedure are available upon request.
Our complaints investigation procedure will never involve any extra cost to you and we will respect your confidentiality.
How to make a complaint
You can make your complaint to us verbally or in writing. If you need support putting your complaint in writing you may be able to get help through Citizen’s Advice: Citizen’s Advice
We ask that you make the complaint as soon as possible once you are clear what the issue is, so we may proceed with a timely investigation. It would be helpful to name what your complaint is about and how you would like it to be resolved. If you are complaining in writing we recommend you keep a copy of your complaint.
We will acknowledge your complaint in writing upon receipt and keep you informed as our investigation progresses. We will let you know the points we will be looking into and a predicted timescale for our response. Our aim is to investigate all the points you make thoroughly and fairly and then report back to you as soon as possible. Should your complaint highlight problems with our current practice or procedures, we will make changes to improve our practice to prevent a repeat of the issues pertaining to your complaint. We aim to respond fully to most complaints within eight weeks. This is the time frame the Legal Ombudsman suggest.
Disputes around billing
Under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974, you have a right to challenge a bill and to apply for assessment of the bill if you think you have been overcharged. Please contact us in the first instance to discuss the issue.
If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can ask the Senior Courts Costs Office to make a ‘detailed assessment’ of your bill. They can reduce your bill if they agree it is too expensive. You can find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/challenge-solicitors-bill
You can also approach the Legal Ombudsman, but they may not consider a complaint about the bill if you have applied to the Court for assessment of the bill.
Please note, we are able to charge interest on all or part of the outstanding bills.
When to contact the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)
We comply with SRA Principles, which outline how we aim to behave independently, fairly and with integrity to best serve the interests of our clients. You can access these principles at the SRA website at the following link: https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/principles/
The SRA welcome information about dishonesty or breaches of SRA Principles; however, they are not able to deal with issues of poor service. They can help you if you have concerns about a Solicitor’s behaviour or integrity: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/
When to contact the Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman may be able to help if you are not happy with response to your complaint. In the event that we have not been able to address your complaint ourselves and you need further support, you can contact them through their website: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Note that complaints to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within six months of receiving a final response from us.