McNeil & Co is committed to high quality legal advice and client care. However we do have a Complaints Procedure for those hopefully rare occurrences when you feel we have not lived up to our high aspirations. This is set out below:
1. We aim to handle all complaints promptly, fairly and effectively.
2. You are always entitled to complain if any aspect of our service causes you to question whether we have acted inefficiently, improperly or other than in accordance with your instructions.
3. You should complain initially to the fee earner with conduct of your case, preferably in writing. In the event that he/she is unable to resolve your complaint please contact the Firm’s Director, Mark McNeil or by post to our Lincoln Office.
4. A complaint can include dissatisfaction over a bill.
5. If Mr. McNeil cannot resolve your complaint, and we undertake to let you have a decision within 14 days of its receipt, you have the right to have it considered by one of Mr. McNeil’s senior colleagues provided you give written notice to that effect within 14 days. He/she has the right to overrule Mr. McNeil’s decision and find in your favour. They will give you their decision within 14 days of the referral to them. We undertake to accept their decision.
6. Whilst we would hope that these time limits would be adhered to, it may be in certain instances, that the investigation of the complaint, operational/ domestic commitments of the Firm or its personnel, or indeed your own circumstances, may require an extension of these times. We recognise however that time is of the essence in the nature of matters such as these and will thus strive to comply with them so far as possible.
8. Complaints may be made to the Legal Ombudsman in respect of acts or omissions made after 5th October 2010 and should be made to that body within either:
a. six years of the act or omission or
b. three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint
9. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman should in any event be made within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. The above timescales may be waived by the Legal Ombudsman in exceptional circumstances.
Complaints to the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA)
The SRA deal with cases where firms or those they regulate have breached the SRA Principles. Most of the time, complaints about Solicitors are about poor service, and therefore should be sent to the Legal Ombudsman (see above). If the Legal Ombudsman thinks your case involves a breach of the SRA Principles, they will refer your case to the SRA. Likewise, if you report a Solicitor to the SRA for poor service, they will refer your case to the Legal Ombudsman. Further information in this regard can be found on the SRA website, namely www.sra.org.uk