Complaint Procedure Explained
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 as follows;
- In the first instance, your concerns must be raised directly with your caseworker, and copy the principle (h.arrif@ardensolicitors) 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. You can simply ask your caseworker for their manager’s name.
- If your caseworker or their manager, did not resolve your concerns to your satisfaction, your complaint will then reach the second stage.
- You may progress your complaint to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, 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
Office 21-23 Ealing House
33 Hanger Lane, North Ealing
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.
- 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.
- In Accordance with the new changes to the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules, the following applies. From the 1st April 2023, the time limits for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman will be not later than;
- One year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
- One year from the date when the complainant should have realised that there was cause for complaint.
- The Legal Ombudsman will retain the ability to apply Rule 4.7, which allows an Ombudsman to exercise discretion to extend the 1-year time limit for specific customers if, on the evidence, it was fair to do so.
The Ombudsman’s contact details are:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: