We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, you are entitled to complain. This will enable us to address the matter and, where appropriate, to offer a remedy and it will help us to improve our standards. You are entitled to challenge or complain about your bill and, if appropriate, the circumstances in which you may be required to pay interest on an unpaid bill. We take any complaint most seriously, but if you are not a client, reserve the right to modify and possibly to exclude the operation of this procedure in all or in part.
Initial steps to resolve
- If you have any concerns about the service you receive, please contact:
- (i) the partner who has overall responsibility for your business or for the particular matter concerned; or,
- (ii) if they cannot resolve matters to your satisfaction or the complaint concerns that partner, please contact the head of the group/department with which you are dealing or the person indicated in your client care letter. If you are in doubt, a name(s) will be supplied.
- They will endeavour to resolve your concerns promptly and fairly.
- If the matter cannot be resolved by them or if you would prefer, please contact the Fieldfisher General Counsel and Partner (“the GC”), Tom Rider (tel +44(0)20 7861 4000) who is the UK Complaints Partner. If he is away for any material time or the complaint involves him, the Managing Partner will ensure that your complaint is dealt with elsewhere. Complaints in non-UK offices are the responsibility of the relevant local Managing Partner.
What will happen next
- The GC will endeavour to acknowledge your complaint within three working days. He will send you an acknowledgment and a copy of this complaints procedure.
- We will record your complaint in a central register and open a file for your complaint.
- The GC will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve him in one or more of the following steps:
- reviewing the file and any associated documents for the matter to which the complaint relates;
- interviewing and discussing the position with those concerned within the firm;
- seeking any further clarification which we require from you.
If it seems appropriate, we may at this stage suggest a meeting to obtain details or to discuss matters with you.
Any information that you supply will be treated in confidence unless agreed otherwise.
- The GC will then write to you to:
- (i) report his findings; and,
- (ii) make proposals for resolving your complaint.
We aim to do this within 21 days of acknowledging your complaint. If for any reason the 21 days cannot be achieved (for example, because of fee earner absences or because further information is required from third parties or yourself), we will explain why and endeavour to agree a revised date.
Review of GC's decision
- If you do not accept the GC's findings or proposals for resolving the matter, you may request a review of his decision. This review will be carried out by a partner appointed by the Fieldfisher LLP Managing Partner, who will have had no prior involvement with the substance of the complaint. To start the review, please write with your reasons for rejecting his findings to the GC. In certain circumstances, for example if you do not adequately explain the basis on which you reject the finding, we may decline the request for a further review and recommend that you contact the Legal Ombudsman.
- Our aim will be to complete the review within 21 days of receipt of your letter but if more time is needed you will be notified. We will let you know the results of the review within five working days of its completion. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explain our reasons. If you are unhappy with the outcome you may be able to ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved in your complaint. We will confirm his details again at that time.
- Please note that the time limit for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman is generally six months from the date when we give you our final written response to your complaint. The time limit can be checked by looking at the Legal Ombudsman’s website or by telephoning his office on 0300 555 0333. If you miss the time limit, his office may not be able to investigate your complaint.
- If at any stage of the complaints procedure it becomes appropriate, we will notify you of your right to see another solicitor and obtain advice as to whether you have any other remedy against us. If a complaint may constitute a possible claim for compensation for negligence, we will generally have to refer the matter to our insurers. In those circumstances, this complaints procedure may not be appropriate.
The Legal Ombudsman
- The contact details of the Legal Ombudsman are as follows:
The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
0300 555 0333
Professional Misconduct Complaints
- Fieldfisher LLP is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which handles complaints relating to professional misconduct. If you have any concerns about our behaviour, you can raise these with the Solicitors Regulation Authority
Equality and Diversity
- Our complaints procedure is operated in compliance with the firm’s policy on equality and diversity.