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SDS Solicitors > Complaints



Our complaints policy
We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. If you believe something has gone wrong or you are dissatisfied with the service, we ask that you let us know and allow us the opportunity to address the issue and try to put things right.

In the first instance, we ask that you contact the person dealing with your case. You can do this either by telephone, in writing or by email. This is the person named in our last correspondence to you. The person dealing with your case will, in most instances, be able to resolve your query immediately. If this is not possible, we ask that you phone or email Christopher Hibbert who is our Litigation Manager on 0161 796 4266 or chris@sds-solicitors.com;

If you feel the issue has still not been resolved and you wish to make an official complaint, please let us know and we will commence our complaints procedure as follows:

Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details.

1. Your initial notification should be addressed to Theresa Ede, who can be contacted on 0161 674 0318 or theresa@sds-solicitors.com who, on behalf of the Directors, will log and invoke the complaints procedure. Please note that Theresa will not be able to assist you in your complaint but will be able to administer the procedure and talk you through the process.

2. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 3 days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.

3. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Client Care Manager, Phill Comerford, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.

4. Phill Comerford will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter.

5. Within 3 days of the meeting, Phill Comerford will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.

6. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Phill Comerford will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter.

7. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for our Director, Sheldon Davidson to review the decision.

8. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

9. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint.

10. If you remain dissatisfied at the end of our complaints process, you would then be at liberty to contact the Legal Ombudsman, provided you are an individual, a personal representative of a deceased person, a “micro-enterprise” (having fewer than 10 employees and annual turnover or assets not exceeding 2 million Euros), a charity or club/association with annual income of less than £1 million, or a trustee of a trust with assets of less than £1 million. The Legal Ombudsman can investigate complaints up to six years from the date of the problem happening or within three years of when someone should have found out about the problem. However, if we send a final written response to your complaint within eight weeks of receiving it, the time limit for you to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman would be six months from the date of that final response.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, their contact details are as follows:-

Website – www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Telephone – 0300 555 0333 between 8.30am to 5.30pm. Calls to 03 numbers will cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers starting 01 or 02 from both mobiles and landlines. Calls are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes.
E-mail – enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Postal address – Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.

Alternative complaints resolution bodies also exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services, should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme at the end of our internal complaints process. They provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services. Small Claims Mediation is one such body, details of which can be found at www.small-claims-mediation.co.uk; and another is Ombudsman Services, details of which can be found at www.ombudsman-services.org. Under the provisions of the EU Directive on Consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution, to pursue this process you would have to be a “consumer”, namely an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside your trade, business, craft or profession.

If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

Sheldon Davidson Solicitors
219 Bury New Road
M45 8GW