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Manchester & London Solicitors

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Complaints Procedure

Monarch Solicitors 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.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure below.

Stage 1 – Formal Complaints Procedure

If you wish to raise a formal complaint, please put your concerns in writing for the attention of ‘The Compliance Team’. The Compliance Team shall respond to you within 8 weeks .

Stage 2 – Formal Review Procedure

If you are not satisfied with our reply in Stage 1, please notify us of your points of dispute within 14 days to explain why you remain unhappy with our response, provide any further information and evidence.  We shall review and reply within 8 weeks.  If we do not hear from you within 14 days of the Stage 1 reply, we shall consider the complaint resolved.

Timescales

We aim to deal with your complaint in the timescales above, however:

  1. Whilst we shall endeavour to follow the timeframes in our policy, the timeframes are not contractual or of the essence, and on occasion we may need to deviate from the stated policy timeframes.  If we do need to deviate from the timeframes, we shall advise you in writing and communicate to you, when we intend to reply by.
  2. Negotiations to resolve a dispute either with you or a third party on your behalf shall pause the timetable above until negotiations are concluded, unless you specifically ask us to continue the formal complaints procedure in writing.
  3. If you file complaints over a series of dates prior to us providing your Stage 1 or Stage 2 reply, the timetable shall start from the date of your last complaint.
  4. There is no obligation upon us to acknowledge your correspondences under the complaints procedure.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman. They will look at your complaint independently.

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:

  1. Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and
  2. No more than one year from the date of act or omission about which you are concerned; or
  3. Within 1 year of you realising there was a concern.

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

Legal Ombudsman contact details
Visit:        www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Call:        0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Email:     [email protected]
Address: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you 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.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Litigation Privilege & Confidentiality

During the investigation process, you irrevocably authorise us to contact any relevant third party to investigate your concerns, regardless of whether the retainer exists or not.

If you choose to make an external complaint to the SRA or the Legal Ombudsman then you irrevocably agree that you will have waived your right to confidentiality and legal professional privilege and this firm shall be entitled to make full disclosure of all communications and information in our possession or knowledge to the relevant authorities to enable them to investigate your complaint and any surrounding issues.

Where there is a fundamental breakdown in the relationship, we are entitled to terminate our retainer with you.

Complaints shall be treated as being and attempt to settle a dispute and/or in contemplation of litigation with this firm and therefore may be dealt with on a “Without Prejudice, Subject to Costs” basis. In addition, we are entitled to claim our right to litigation privilege. Accordingly, we are entitled to keep any internal or other material data (including correspondence with our professional advisors and insurers) confidential and exempt under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Abuse and Harassment Policy

Please note that we have a zero tolerance policy against abuse or harassment of our staff.

We understand that people can become angry when they feel that matters about which they feel strongly are not being dealt with as they wish. If that anger escalates into aggression towards our staff, we consider that unacceptable.

Threatening behaviour can be verbal or physical and may:

  • be sexist, racist or homophobic or may involve discrimination because of a person’s protected characteristics
  • use intimidating language, such as swearing or aggressive body language

We also consider inflammatory statements, remarks of a racial or discriminatory nature and unsubstantiated allegations, to be abusive behaviour.

If we discover that you have been dishonest with us or we believe that you have been excessively rude or displayed any threatening or abusive behaviour to our employees, including unsubstantiated allegations then:

  • We will refuse to continue to act for you
  • You will have to find new lawyers
  • You will not be entitled to a refund of any legal fees you’ve already paid us

Status

Our complaint policy is subject to unilateral change as communicated from time to time to reflect the needs of the business.

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