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Complaints policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. If you are not happy with the way in which your matter is being handled, we would wish to know at once so that we can immediately improve our service to you. All such feedback will help us to monitor and improve our service to all our clients.

Our Complaints Procedure

If you believe that we are not providing the level of service we should, please immediately tell the member of staff conducting your matter or the Supervising Partner so that they have the opportunity to improve their handling of it for you.

If you are not confident that the person handling your matter can or will adequately address your concerns or has failed to do so and you would like the service you have received more formally investigated, you may raise the issues with the Firm’s Head of Risk & Compliance, Nikki Coyne, by writing to 35-41 Stourside Place, Station Road, Ashford, Kent, TN23, by emailing ashford@girlings.com or by calling 01227 768374. The Head of Risk & Compliance will record your complaint in a central register and will be responsible for seeing that it is dealt with promptly. They will regularly check on progress when a detailed investigation is delegated to others.

Our Head of Risk & Compliance will acknowledge your initial letter of complaint within five working days of its receipt advising of the relevant timeframe for investigating your complaint. Investigation will usually include:

  • reviewing your complaint;
  • reviewing your file and other relevant documents;
  • liaising with the person(s) dealing with your matter.

We may also need to ask you for further information or documents. 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 or video conference.

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 14 days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement.

If you are not then satisfied with the response received, it will be open to you to request that the reply to your complaint be considered by the Firm's Complaints Partner, David Mallinson. The further consideration of your complaint will state our final position in relation to your complaint. We will provide our final response within 8 weeks of your initial complaint.

If you are still not satisfied with our response, or we have not been able to resolve it with you within 8 weeks of your initial complaint, you will have the option of referring your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman. You may contact the Legal Ombudsman:

If you wish to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, generally you should do so:

  • within six months of the date of our final response to your complaint; and
  • within one year from the date of the act/omission; or
  • one year from when the complainant should have known there was cause for complaint

For further information on making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, please refer to their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk

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If your complaint is about your bill, you may have the right to apply to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you wish to take advantage of this procedure you should be aware that strict time limits apply and the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the court for an assessment.

Alternative complaint bodies exist (such as Pro Mediate UK) which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and the Firm wish to use such a scheme. We do not agree to use such a scheme due to the existence of the Legal Ombudsman.

The Legal Ombudsman deals with service issues. If you are concerned about our conduct or behaviour rather than our service, your complaint should be addressed to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If you would like any further information on this procedure, please feel free to contact our Complaints Partner.

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Tuesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
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