Our Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all of our clients. We take every complaint very seriously and aim to resolve any client dissatisfaction as quickly and efficiently as possible. We endeavour to follow the Law Society’s recommendation guidelines when dealing with complaints. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

 Our Complaints Procedure

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 we can do our best to resolve the situation.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the individual who is working on your case to discuss any concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then please see below for our full complaints procedure. Making a complaint about a service issue will not affect how we handle your case. We will comply with our regulatory responsibilities at all times.

Our complaints director is Lucy Tarrant. She is based at 15a Brighton Place, Brighton, BN1 1HJ. Lucy can be contacted on 0333 400 4499 or by email at lucy.tarrant@cognitivelaw.co.uk. She will deal with your complaint. Please contact her whenever you wish.

 What will happen next?

  1. The member of staff who acted for you will acknowledge your complaint within three working days from the date of receiving it. A copy of this procedure will be enclosed. He/she will then prepare a detailed response within seven working days from the date of the acknowledgement letter unless a detailed response is included within his/her initial letter.
  2. If you are unhappy with the response, you should reply to the member of staff with conduct of your matter. A further investigation into your matter will then be undertaken. Your matter will either be;
  • dealt with in detail by the member of staff with conduct of your file within fourteen working days of receiving your reply, or
  • passed to the Company’s Complaints Director, Lucy Tarrant, who will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of the matter being passed to her. She will then review the matter in full before writing to you in detail within fourteen working days from the date of her acknowledgement letter outlining her suggestions to resolve the complaint.

3. If you are dissatisfied with the response of the person in charge of your matter, your file will be passed to Lucy Tarrant as mentioned above.

4. If you remain dissatisfied after Lucy Tarrant’s response, please let her know and she will invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint further within seven working days. Within three working days of the meeting, Lucy Tarrant will write to you and confirm any solutions agreed with you. Where a meeting is not possible, she will write to you in a final attempt to resolve the complaint.

5. We have 8 weeks to consider and resolve your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you may pass your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

6. This complaints procedure is designed to address complaints of inadequate service. If you think we have made a mistake, i.e: that we have been negligent, we may have to report this to our insurers. In that event we are often unable to discuss the matter further with you unless or until our insurers authorise us to do so. At that stage you will be advised of the need to take advice from an independent solicitor.

7. If your complaint is about the amount that you have been charged, please note the following wording which appears on the reverse side of the invoice that has been sent to you:

NOTICE OF YOUR RIGHTS

You may be entitled to apply to the High Court to have this invoice checked by an Officer of the High Court (Sections 70, 71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974).

If you do not agree with or understand any aspect of the invoice, please let us know, it may be appropriate in some circumstances to use our Complaints Procedure. If you remain unhappy with our response, you may be entitled to apply to the Legal Ombudsman to resolve the matter. The Legal Ombudsman will not usually investigate any complaint to them made more than 6 months after we have responded to any complaint made to us.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and
  • No more than six years from the date of the act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman please contact them:

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you is you are concerned about any non-service aspect of the firm. This includes any practice or regulatory issues, which you believe should be considered by the professional regulator of solicitors.

If we have to change any of the above timescales, we will let you know and explain why. Please note, the response times referred to above may increase where an involved member of staff is absent from the office.