Complaints Procedure

*Last updated 20 Mar 2024

We are committed to providing a high-quality and professional service to all our clients. Please tell us as soon as possible if you feel we have not met these standards. We will:

  • Look into your complaint promptly, deal with it fairly and put things right if something has gone wrong

  • Make sure that we learn from any mistakes we may have made and take action to help prevent them in future

  • Not charge you for investigating your complaint.

1. If you are a client (including a beneficiary in a Will we are working on)

Making a complaint will not normally affect any work we are carrying out for you.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of our service, including your bill, you should contact the person who is working on your case as soon as you are aware that there is a problem. If they are unable to resolve your problem, you should write to or email:

The Complaints Partner

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Cartergate house

26 Chantry Lane

Grimsby

DN31 2LJ

Email: complaints@wilkinchapman.co.uk

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter or email acknowledging your complaint within three working days of receiving it

  2. Your complaint will be recorded on a register of complaints

  3. We will investigate and respond promptly to your complaint but in any case, within eight weeks of sending you an acknowledgement letter or email.

If we think we have provided poor service, we will tell you and offer a suitable remedy along with an explanation of what went wrong. If we think there was no poor service, we will explain why. We will not normally consider a complaint about a problem which took place over six months ago.

What can I do if I am unhappy with your response?

The Legal Ombudsman

If you are a client of the firm and you are unhappy with our response to your complaint, then you can have your complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. They investigate complaints about service issues with lawyers. The Legal Ombudsman will expect you to have given us a chance to resolve your complaint before it will get involved.

Please note that the Legal Ombudsman service is not available to a business (other than a micro-enterprise as defined by the European Union), a charity or club/association/organisation that has an annual income net of tax of more than £1 million or a trustee of a trust that has an asset value of more than £1 million.

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 6167

Slough

SL1 0EH

Switchboard: 0300 555 0333 Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Calls to the Legal Ombudsman are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes. Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than calls to 01 or 02 numbers from mobiles and landlines.

The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.

Complaints about your bill

Under sections 70, 71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974 you have a right to an assessment of your bill by an Officer

of the Court.

  • If all or part of the bill remains unpaid, we have the right to charge interest on it.

  • The Legal Ombudsman may not deal with a complaint about your bill if you have already applied for an assessment by the Court.

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. Please see below for their address and contact details.

2. If we are collecting a debt from you

If our Debt Recovery and Insolvency Department is in contact with you about a debt you owe to one of our clients (such as a Utility Company, Credit Union or Local Authority) and you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of the debt recovery process or a member of the team you may contact:

Recoveries Department Complaints

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Cartergate House

26 Chantry Lane

Grimsby

DN31 2LJ

Telephone: 01472 262626 and ask for the Recoveries Department Complaints.

You don’t have the right to go to the Legal Ombudsman, but you can contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) if you think we have failed to comply with the SRA Code of Conduct. There is no time limit for reporting concerns to the SRA but it is a good idea to report your concerns as soon as possible. Contact details for the SRA are below:

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Cube

199 Wharfside Street

Birmingham

B1 1RN

Telephone: 0870 66 2555

Email: report@sra.org.uk

3. Unreasonable behaviour

We are committed to dealing with all complaints professionally, fairly and impartially. We also have a duty to protect the safety and welfare of our staff against unreasonable or persistent behaviour.

Unreasonable behaviour is where the frequency or nature of your contact with us takes up unjustifiable time and resources or if you are offensive, threatening or abusive. Behaviours which we consider to be unreasonable and unacceptable include:

  • Making unnecessarily excessive demands on the time and resources of our staff while your complaint is being investigated. This includes excessive telephoning, the sending of numerous emails, writing long and complex letters frequently and expecting an immediate response

  • Repeatedly raising issues which have already been addressed in a response to an earlier complaint

  • Refusing to specify the grounds of a complaint or to co-operate with the complaint’s procedure

  • Changing the basis of the complaint and introducing irrelevant information

  • Recording meetings or conversations without the prior knowledge of the persons involved

  • Using bullying, physical or psychological threats as a means to influence the person(s) handling the complaint.

If we consider your behaviour to be unacceptable we will write to you and tell you. We may decide to restrict contact between you and us:

  • To a nominated person only;

  • By requiring communication by letter only; OR

  • By ceasing contact altogether.

If we think your behaviour towards us in a telephone call is unacceptable, we may end the call without notice.

If you need this information in another language or in large print, Braille or an audio CD, please get in touch.

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