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SDS Solicitors > Complaints

COMPLAINTS HANDLING PROCEDURE

RUPERT GARNETT – COMPLAINTS MANAGER
SHELDON DAVIDSON – MANAGING DIRECTOR

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 you do not wish to discuss the matter with the person handling your case, we ask that you phone or email Rupert Garnett who is our Complaints Manager on 0161 796 3000. Alternatively, you can email details of your query to complaints@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

1. If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details as stated above.

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

3. We will then investigate your complaint. This will involve passing your complaint to our Complaints Manager, Rupert Garnett, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you, together with the most appropriate member of the senior management team.

4. In most instances, Rupert Garnett 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. If a meeting is attended with a member of the senior management team, then within 3 days of the meeting, Rupert Garnett will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions that have been agreed with you. Depending upon the query or complaint our team specialists are:

Christopher Hibbert – Litigation Manager
Victoria McCormack – Claims Systems Development Manager
Phill Comerford – Business Development Manager & Client Service
Naeem Dean – Financial Controller/Accounts
Sheldon Davidson – Managing Director

6. If you do not want a meeting or it is not convenient, Rupert Garnett will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including 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 Managing Director, Sheldon Davidson to review the decision.

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

9. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint.

10. Please note that you will not incur additional costs for our time spent investigating your complaint.

11. 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. Please note that the complainant must refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than six years from the act/omission; or three years from when the complainant should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. 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, you can contact them on their website www.legalombudsman.org.uk, or 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 or email to enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk. Their postal address is 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 (Managing Director)
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors
219 Bury New Road
Whitefield
Manchester
M45 8GW