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Principles of complaints management

We hope that our complaints management process will be easy to access for all our clients. It is made available to you free of charge. It is intended that the information within the Complaints Policy will enable you to make a complaint and give you sufficient information to understand how it will be resolved.

1. The process and information provided should be set out so that it is easy for you to understand.

2. The initial response should be timely and reassure you that you are being taken seriously.

3. Your complaint should be treated courteously and you should be updated on the progress of your complaint.

4. Our object is to see a complaint as an opportunity for improvement in client care.

5. All complaints should be answered in an objective and unbiased manner.

6. The information in relation to the complaints management process will be treated with confidentiality.

7. We have adopted a client focused approach and hope that any feedback including complaints will show a commitment to resolving complaints by taking action.

8. If you face communication challenges, for example, hearing difficulties, disability, language barriers or other cross cultural issues we will always look at ways to overcome those challenges and please feel free to raise these at the time of raising your complaint.

9. Our complaints management process will focus on complaints from clients however, we can receive complaints from a range of other sources including:-

(a) People connected with the client such as family members, carers or guardians.
(b) Solicitors representing the other side of the dispute or transaction.
(c) Barristers.
(d) Those involved in the justice system such as judges, court officials and prison officials.

 
COMPLAINTS POLICY

1. At the outset of every case Hopkins send you a Terms of Business letter. It is important that you raise any initial concerns if you feel you are able to with the person responsible for your case. Where they have been unable to deal with your concerns the letter names the person to whom you should complain if you are dissatisfied with this firm’s service.

2. Complaints can be made by telephone or in writing by letter or e-mail.

3. If the complaint is of a complex nature then you may be requested to put the detail of the complaint in writing.

4. If the complaint is of a simple nature then it may be possible to deal with it by telephone or by a meeting but, in any event, the outcome of the complaint will be confirmed by this firm to you in writing.

5. If it is felt appropriate the person nominated in the letter may refer the complaint to the Managing Partner, Martyn Knox.

6. Hopkins will make every effort to acknowledge your complaint within 7 days. It may not be possible initially to provide a full answer.

7. Hopkins will make every effort to deal with the complaint in detail within 14 days.

8. If it is not possible to deal with the complaint within 14 days we shall inform you of the nature of the difficulty in dealing with the complaint within that time span and put forward an alternative time span for dealing with the complaint which is acceptable to you.

9. Hopkins will make every effort to investigate a complaint promptly and thoroughly and an explanation will be given to you of both the investigation and any appropriate action taken.

10. For reasons of confidentiality details of staff involvement may be treated with discretion.

11. Please note that there are time limits for being able to bring a complaint to us. This is 1 year from the closure of the file, subject to 6 years from the act/omission or 3 years from the deemed knowledge.

12. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint then you will be informed that you have the right to take the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

Their details are:

Address: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Telephone number: 0300 555 0333

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.

 
13. Please note that in relation to the Legal Ombudsman, the financial limit available as compensation that the Legal Ombudsman can award is £50,000, but the power to disallow costs is unlimited. In addition, the Legal Ombudsman cannot deal with complaints from all clients, but can deal with prospective clients. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman is limited to individuals and small businesses. Larger corporate clients have no such remedy, but whether or not you fit into this category depends upon staff turnover, balance sheet, net asset value or annual income. Further information can be obtained from the Legal Ombudsman. In addition, the Legal Ombudsman has a time limit from which complaints can be made and this is 6 months from the solicitors’ final response, subject to 6 years from the act/omission or 3 years from deemed knowledge with a back stop of the 6 October 2010, unless previously unaware.