This complaints procedure is exclusively for the use of our clients. If you are not a client of the firm and are unhappy with our conduct please see the separate Non-Client Complaints Procedure below.
If you have a complaint this is the procedure you have to follow.
The time limits for bringing a complaint to our attention are set out in our Terms and Conditions of Business, namely within six months of the end of the matter on which you instructed us, or within three months of you becoming aware of the circumstances giving rise to your complaint, whichever is the later. If you wish to complain about our service after the expiry of these time limits you may still be able to make a complaint directly to the Legal Ombudsman, but we will not be obliged in those circumstances to consider your complaint under this procedure and you should contact the Legal Ombudsman to establish whether your complaint falls within the time limits of the Ombudsman’s scheme.
Please contact the person directly who dealt with your case or transaction by email, post or over the phone.
If you do not feel comfortable in discussing this with the person who acted for you then please contact their manager. Their manager’s name will be mentioned in our engagement letter to you, sent at the beginning of your case or transaction. Alternatively, you may simply ask your lawyer for their manager’s name or just ring us to request that information.
If neither your lawyer nor their manager can resolve your concerns to your satisfaction, your complaint will reach the second stage.
You may progress your complaint to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, Mr Mario Montana.
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:
MARIO MONTANA SOLICITORS
306 LINEN HALL
162-168 REGENT STREET
(T) 0207 437 0516
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days.
To investigate your complaint normally takes approximately three to four weeks however it could be less or more depending on the size of your file and the complexity of the matter.
Nevertheless, it should never take more than eight weeks after we acknowledge receipt of your complaint.
A complete review of your file will be necessary together with the person who undertook the work on the file we will then eat you mail or write to you by post in order to, meet with you to discuss your complaint and resolve the issues that you are unhappy about.
If we find that your complaint is valid, we shall work with you in a way to try and resolve your grievance and rectify any matters that we can correct.
However, in the event that we find your complaint is unsubstantiated we will inform you of the reasons for our decision. If you are unhappy with our decision, we will inform you of what to do next. We should also confirm to you whether we will 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. The Legal Ombudsman’s full limitation periods are:
- Within six years of the problem happening; or
- Three years from when you (the client) found out about it; or
- You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response.
- If during the complaints process you subsequently accept and agree to our final response and the matter/complaint is resolved, you cannot then reopen it later with the Legal Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman’s contact details are:
PO Box 6806
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mario Montana Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (ID No 648917 ) This means that we are governed by a Code of Conduct and other professional rules, which you can access on the SRA’s website (www.sra.org.uk) or by calling 0370 606 2555.
Solicitors Regulation Authority can be contacted at:
The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN (the SRA).
If you believe that we have behaved dishonestly, illegally or in breach of the SRA’s principles, you can complain to the SRA using the details provided above.
Non-Client Complaints Procedure
If you believe that we have behaved dishonestly, illegally, in breach of the SRA’s principles, or for some other reason you are dissatisfied with our conduct and you are not a client of this firm, you should raise the subject of your complaint with the person with whom you are dealing, or against whom the complaint is made, and if your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction at that level you should email email@example.com or write to us with details of your complaint to address provided above.
The time limit for bringing a complaint to our attention is within six months of the event giving rise to your complaint, or within three months of you becoming aware of the circumstances giving rise to it, whichever is the later. If you wish to complain about our service after the expiry of these time limits you may still be able to make a complaint directly to the Legal Ombudsman, but we will not be obliged in those circumstances to consider your complaint under this procedure, and you should contact the Legal Ombudsman to establish whether your complaint falls within the time limits of the Ombudsman’s scheme.
We will let you know within 14 days of receipt of your complaint in writing how and in what timescale we propose to deal with your complaint depending on its nature, and in most circumstances, we would expect that timescale not to exceed 28 days. If you are unhappy with the way in which we deal with your complaint you may ask the Legal Ombudsman and/or the SRA whether they will investigate your complaint. Both addresses are contained in the Client Complaints Procedure above. If you are legally represented in the matter giving rise to your complaint, please note that we will only correspond with your solicitor.