Our complain procedure

Arden Solicitors Advocates want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided, then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

The procedure to be followed is 

First stage

  • In the first instance, your concerns must be raised directly with your caseworker, and copy the principle (h.arrif@ardensolcitors) into your email. Alternatively, you can also raise your concern by post or over the phone, with your caseworker
  • If you feel that you cannot raise your concerns directly with your caseworker, or that the caseworker has not addressed all your concerns to your satisfaction, you should then raise your concerns with their manager. Their manager’s name will be mentioned in our engagement letter to you, called a Client Care letter, which sent at the beginning of your case or transaction. Alternatively, you may simply ask your caseworker for their manager’s name, or contact our secretary for this information.
  • If your caseworker or their manager, did not resolve your concerns to your satisfaction, your complaint will then reach the second stage.

Second stage

  • You may progress your complaint to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice and Managing Partner, Mrs Hawa Ariff.
  • When you do so, please set out as much detail as possible regarding your complaint. You may find the template letter on the Legal Ombudsman’s website useful (http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/). We prefer to receive your complaint by post or email as we can then make sure we reply to all the points you raise:

Please address your complaint to 

Mrs Ariff
Office 21-23 Ealing House
33 Hanger Lane
London W5 3HJ

On receipt of your mail, we will 

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days.
  • tell you how long it will take us to investigate your complaint. This normally is around three or four weeks, but it could be less or more (either due to the circumstances of your complaint, illness or holidays). In any event it should never be more than eight weeks after acknowledging receipt of your complaint.
  • review your file and if necessary talk to the person dealing with your case, their manager.
  • send you the result of our investigation by email or post. We may also offer to meet with you to discuss your complaint and resolve it.
  • If we agree with you and we find the service you received was not as we would have like it to be, we will work with you to try to find a way to resolve your complaint.
  • If we find that your complaint does not support a finding of poor service, we will let you know the reasons why. We will let you know what to do if you are unhappy with our decision: we will tell you whether we agree to using Alternative Dispute Resolution, or whether your complaint can proceed to Stage 3.

Third Stage

  • If you remain unhappy, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent and impartial body, but you must do so within 6 months of our final letter to you, which we will always make clear when sending our final letter. 
  • The Legal Ombudsman’s time limits for accepting a complaint are six years from the date of act\omission or three years from when the complainant should have known about the complaint. Where you have been provided with full information about your right to take a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (as is the case here) you must make your complaint to the Ombudsman within 6 months from the end of our complaints process

The Ombudsman’s contact details are:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Email address: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

We also refer you to the guidance as to complaining to the Ombudsman, which can be found at  https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/learning-resources/good-complaints-handling/

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint

and

  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Contact details

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00.
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Procedure for Non-Clients 

If you are not a client, we will only be able to deal with your complaint if you are alleging that we have acted in breach of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) Codes of Conduct for Solicitors and Firms. 

We ask that you provide full details of the alleged breach before we deal with your complaint. Your complaint should be sent for the attention of Ms Ariff and the email to be used is h.arrif@ardensolicitors.com. We will then write to you within 14 days, to give you a time frame to consider your complain, which may take around 3-4 weeks.  

If your complain cannot be resolved, you may complain to the SRA, who deals with cases where firms or those they regulate have breached its Codes of Conduct. If you consider that the firm or anyone regulated by the SRA has breached those Codes, you can report this to the SRA: 

The SRA’s contact details are as follows: 

Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Cube, 
199 Wharfside Street, 
Birmingham, 
B1 1RN
Telephone: 0870 606 2555 (UK) 
Email: info.services@sra.org.uk 

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