Complaints Policy

Client Complaints

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Our goal is to be the leading national law firm famous for its client experience but we understand that sometimes things go wrong. If they do go wrong, we need to know about them so we can learn and see what we can do better. We have a complaints procedure so that we make sure your complaint is dealt with fairly and effectively.

England, Wales & Scotland

We will:

1. Acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days of receipt and tell you who will be investigating your concerns.

2. We will find out what happened, usually by reviewing the file and by talking to the person who acted for you. Sometimes as a result, we will need further information which may mean we need to telephone you or meet with you. We will tell you how long this will take which will take account of your personal circumstances.

3. We will conduct a thorough investigation, tell you what we have found out within the agreed timescale, and where appropriate, suggest a solution or remedy.

4. We hope that you will be satisfied with our conclusions but if you are not happy please contact our Chairman, Peter Duff, at Shoosmiths, The Lakes, Northampton, NN4 7SH or by email to [email protected]. Peter will arrange a further review by a senior manager or partner not previously involved in the complaint. We will tell you who will investigate your complaint and how long the investigation will take. After fully investigating your complaint we will give you our final response and explain the reasons behind the decision.

England and Wales

5. If we are unable to resolve your complaint within 8 weeks of receiving full details, you may have the right to refer it to the Legal Ombudsman. This service is usually only available to members of the public, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. You should refer your complaint within 6 months of our final response to you. The Legal Ombudsman can accept a complaint within 6 years of the act/omission or 3 years from when you should reasonably have known about the problem.

Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:

Legal Ombudsman, 

PO Box 6806, 
Wolverhampton 
WV1 9WJ. 
0300 555 0333 
[email protected] www.legalombudsman.org.uk 

Scotland

6. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, you may have the right to refer it to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (the 'SLCC'). You should raise your complaint with them within one year of the service ending or the conduct occurring however if your complaint arises from instructions for new work on or after 1st April 2017, or where the alleged occurrence of a specific act, omission or conviction complained of was on or after that date you will have 3 years in which to raise your complaint. Further information on the applicable time limits can be found at https://www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk/

Contact details for the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (the 'SLCC') are:

The Stamp Office 
10-14 Waterloo Place 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3EG 
0131 201 2130 
[email protected] 

Northern Ireland

7. Please write to Jason Byrne or Mary Frances Kearney setting out your concerns.  Your complaint will be investigated in accordance with our Shoosmiths (Northern Ireland) LLP complaints procedure. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, you have a right to complain to the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

8. You should raise your complaint with them within six months from completion of your business or within six months of you discovering a cause for concern, whichever is later.
Contact detailed for The Law Society of Northern Ireland are:

96 Victoria Street, Belfast, 
BT1 3GN. 
02890 231614
Website: www.lawsoc-ni.org 

All jurisdictions

9. Alternative approved complaints bodies such as ProMediate www.promediate.co.uk exist, which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services, if we both agree, but as you are able to use the services of either the Legal Ombudsman, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission or the Law Society of Northern Ireland we do not intend to use their scheme.

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