Our complaints procedure

Emmott Snell is committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. If you are unhappy with our service, whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problems with the person acting on your matter to give them the opportunity to resolve the problem with you. Often matters can be quickly resolved in this way. If you remain unsatisfied then please follow the stages set out below.

Stage 1 - Our complaints process

If you have a concern or a complaint that has not been dealt with to your satisfaction by the person handling your case or their supervising partner, please contact the Compliance Solicitor as soon as you are aware of the problem so this can be addressed.

Stage 2 - What happens next?

The Compliance Solicitor will:

  • Send you an acknowledgement of your complaint within 7 days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of the complaints procedure;
  • Log your complaint on our central complaints register;
  • Investigate your complaint. We will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you. It may be necessary to request further information from you or contact you to clarify exactly the issues involved in your complaint;
  • Once all the information is to hand, the Compliance Solicitor will respond to your complaint.
    This response will be by email, telephone or letter and you will normally receive the response within 4 weeks of us receiving your complaint.
  • If we consider that we need longer to investigate, then we will let you know.
  • Alternatively, if it is appropriate, we can arrange a meeting at your convenience.
  • If we have to change any of our timescales, we will let you know and explain why.

Stage 3 - What happens if you're not happy with our initial response?

If you are not satisfied with our response, you should contact us again to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will review your comments.

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 reason.

Stage 4 - Contacting the Legal Ombudsman

If you are still not satisfied, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider your complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman provides an independent, impartial, and free service to members of the public, small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts for resolving complaints against solicitors.

The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are:

Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333 - from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
E-mail: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Time limits

There are time limits for bringing complaints to the attention of the Legal Ombudsman. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and within the following timescales:

  • Six years from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring; or
  • Three years from the date you found out about it or should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint.

We suggest you check with the Ombudsman using the details above.

Alternatively, 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 them www.sra.org.uk

Complaints in relation to bills

The complaints procedure above also applies to complaints arising concerning our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. The Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the court for assessment of that bill.