Have you got a complaint against Buckworths?
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
The firm’s complaints partner is Michael Buckworth who is responsible for this procedure.
How do I complain?
We much prefer that substantial or complicated complaints are dealt with in writing – we do not have any set forms that we use for this purpose. This document will then form the basis of the complaint.
Who do I complain to?
Please address all complaints to Michael Buckworth.
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Michael Buckworth who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
Michael Buckworth will then write to you with his findings within twenty-one days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. However, if the complaint is complicated further time may be needed. If so, Michael Buckworth will write and tell you and set another time limit.
Michael Buckworth will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter.
At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another person unconnected with the matter at the firm to review his decision.
We will write to you within fourteen days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint
If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the following two organisations in respect of your complaint:
- The Legal Ombudsman
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority
Telephone: 0370 606 2555
Address: The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN
The Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman is an independent body that handles complaints about legal services. The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
You can ask the Legal Ombudsman to become involved at the end our internal complaints procedure, if you are unhappy with the outcome. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. The Ombudsman will allow us a period of eight weeks to resolve your complaint.
The Ombudsman asks that you come to it as soon as you can and within six months of receiving a final response from us in respect of your complaint. Ordinarily, you must make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no more than:
- six years (with effect from 1 April 2023, this will reduce to 1 year) from the date of the matter giving rise to the complaint; or
- three years (with effect from 1 April 2023, this will reduce to 1 year) from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint,
whichever is later.
The Legal Ombudsman may increase the time limits in exceptional circumstances if, on the evidence provided, it is fair and reasonable to do so.
The Legal Ombudsman has produced a number of helpful factsheets and consumer resources to guide you through the complaints process. You can find them on the Legal Ombudsman’s website via the links provided and include useful guidance on “Complaining to a service provider” and “Bringing a complaint to us”.
The Legal Ombudsman has a helpline if you need to speak to them about how to make a complaint. Calls are charged at a local rate and will be recorded. There is no charge for the Legal Ombudsman’s services.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the “SRA”) and the SRA deals with complaints where firms have breached the SRA Principles. The SRA can help 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. The SRA does not, however, have the power to award compensation for poor service, or to reduce or refund your legal fees.
If you have made a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, but the Legal Ombudsman thinks your case involves a breach of the SRA’s Principles, they will refer your case to the SRA.
Likewise, if you make a complaint to the SRA in respect of matters outside of their remit, such as poor service, the SRA will refer you to the Legal Ombudsman.
You can also report a firm for non-payment of professional fees (such as agent or expert fees) if:
- you have a County Court judgment in respect of the fee; and
- the judgment relates to the practice in connection with providing a legal service.
Please visit the SRA’s website for more information on how you can raise your concerns.
Data Protection Complaints