Complaints Procedure

How do I make a complaint?

We aim to provide excellence in all areas of the service we provide. However, if you feel our service fell short of excellence, you can contact us in writing (by way of letter, fax or email) or by telephone.

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. If you do not feel able to discuss your concerns with them, please contact the person responsible for the overall supervision of your matter, who will be named in the client care letter we sent you at the beginning of your matter.

If you do not feel able to raise your concerns with either of these people, or you are unsatisfied with their response, please contact Mihaela Padure who has overall responsibility for complaints and whose contact details are: mihaela.padure@fcos.co.uk

To help us to understand your complaint, and in order to ensure we address aspects of the concerns you raise, please ensure you provide us with the following information:

  • Your full name and contact details (this will be your preferred method of contact);
  • The content of your complaint;
  • What remedy you would like us to consider; and
  • Your reference number if known (this will be on the top right of any letter we have provided you with).

How will my complaint be dealt with?

Upon receipt of your complaint, we will write to you within 2 (two) working days acknowledging receipt of your complaint and enclosing a copy of this policy.

Investigation of your complaint will consist of the following:

  • Reviewing your complaint;
  • Reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documentation; and
  • Liaising with the case handler responsible for your matter.

It may become necessary to request further information or documents from you to assist us to deal with your complaint as effectively as possible. If so, we will ask you to provide the information within a specific period of time.

We will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.

We may also, if appropriate, invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint. You do not have to attend if you do not wish to or if you are unable to. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you by telephone.

We will write to you at the end of our investigation to tell you what we have done and what we propose to do to resolve your complaint. Where possible, we will aim to do this within 21 days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement.

I am not satisfied with the outcome of my complaint, what can I do?

If we are unable to resolve your complaint internally, you may refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. As an independent body, they will look at your complaint and it will have no bearing on how we handle your matter.

Before accepting a complaint about the 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:

(a) within six months of receiving a final response from us to your complaint;

and

(b) no more than six years from the date of act/omission which forms the substance of your complaint;

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, they can be contacted on the following details:

By post:               Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

By email:             enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

By phone:            03005550333; opening times: 09:00 – 17:00

Website:              www.legalombudsman.org.uk

What to do if you are unhappy with our treatment of you

You can raise concerns in respect of our behaviour to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This may include behaviour such as taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

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

Fees to file a complaint

You will not be charged for the handling of your complaint.

Please note that if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter, and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding. This is explained in our Terms of Business and does not interfere with your right to complain.