Complaints Handling Procedure
This Complaints Handling Procedure tells you how we will deal with your complaint and how long it is likely to take. It also provides important information about what you can do if you are not happy with the way in which we are dealing with your complaint, or about our final decision.
Designated Complaints Handler
If you have any concerns about our service, our work, or our charges, you should discuss these first with the individual who has day-to-day control of your matter or Matthew Dixon. They will try to resolve all the issues to your satisfaction on an informal basis.
If you are still dissatisfied and you wish to make a complaint, please contact in writing our Designated Complaints Handler, Matthew Dixon, who is a Solicitor and Member of the LLP.
You can write to him at MD Law, Broom Hall, 8-10 Broomhall Road, Sheffield, S10 2DR or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once your complaint is received in writing our Formal Complaints Handling Procedure will be followed.
Step One: Acknowledging your Complaint
Within two working days of receiving your complaint, your complaint will be recorded in our Complaints Register and a separate file will be opened in which we will store any correspondence and other documents relating to your complaint. Within five working days we will also send you a letter acknowledging your complaint.
Step Two: Investigating your Complaint
Within ten working days of our acknowledgement, we will review your file(s) and any other relevant documentation and send you a letter telling you how we propose to deal with your complaint. Examples of what we might say in this letter are as follows:-
- If your complaint is straight forward we might make suggestions as to how we can put things right or we may offer you some form of redress;
- If your complaint is more complicated we might ask you to confirm, explain or clarify any issues;
- We may ask to meet with you to discuss things face-to-face. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreeable timescale, we will write to you fully setting out our views on the situation and making suggestions as to how we can put things right, or asking you to confirm, explain or clarify any issues;
- If we require more time to deal with your complaint, we will inform you of this and when we expect to be able to respond to you.
Whichever form our investigation takes, we will aim to give you our final decision within six weeks of receiving your complaint (or sooner if possible).
Step Three: Appealing against our Final Decision
If you are not satisfied with our final decision, you may ask for the decision to be reviewed within 20 working days of receiving our detailed response. In this case, Matthew Dixon will, in his discretion, either personally review the decision, refer it to another appropriately qualified member of staff to consider or an external advisor in exceptional circumstances. We will seek to let you know the outcome of this review within five working days.
Step Four: The Legal Ombudsman
If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint provided you do so within six months of the end of our Internal Complaints Handling Procedure.
In addition, there are time limits relating to the date you first became aware or should have become aware of the problem. The relevant time limits are set out in the version of the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules in force from time to time (which can be accessed at
or by contacting the Legal Ombudsman using the contact details provided below) and may only be extended by the Legal Ombudsman in exceptional circumstances.
Ordinarily, you cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless you have first attempted to resolve your complaint using our internal Complaints Handling procedure, but you will be able to contact the Legal Ombudsman if:-
- The complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within eight weeks of first making the compliant to us; or
- The Legal Ombudsman decides that there are exceptional reasons why the Legal Ombudsman should consider your complaint sooner, or without you having to use our internal Complaints Handling Procedure first; or
- The Legal Ombudsman considers that your complaint cannot be resolved using our internal Complaints Handling Procedure because the relationship between you and us has broken down irretrievably.
If you wish to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, you must be one of the following:-
- An individual;
- A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
- A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or
- A personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
Legal Ombudsman Contact Details
Complaining to the 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.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Where we are not able to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process, there are alternative complaints bodies (such as the Ombudsman Services www.ombudsman-services.org) which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
Please let us know if you would like to consider using an alternative complaints body to resolve your complaint.