Download a PDF of our Complaints Procedure – need one on NWLLC letterhead
We are committed to providing high quality legal services to all our clients. However we recognize that there may be occasions when things to do run as smoothly as you would expect. When this occurs we are happy for you to bring this to our attention so that we can address your concerns in order to improve our standards of service in the future.
We aim to deal with any complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively. (Lexcel 6.5 and SRA Code of conduct 2011 O1.9, O1.10, O1.11).
We define a complaint as any written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction made by a client, approved supplier or other third party to any person in our organisation.
A complaint may be identified in a letter, telephone call, e-mail, fax or in the course of a face to face conversation.
A complaint may involve:
- Dissatisfaction with the handling of a case
- Disappointment with an alleged lack of communication
- Frustration with an alleged lack of case progress
- An allegation of discrimination
- Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the case.
However, issues of a very minor nature, for example, not returning a non-urgent telephone call until the following day are not recorded as a complaint.
We inform clients in writing at the outset of their matter of their right to complain and how complaints can be made. We are obliged to treat you fairly at all times and in accordance with regulatory requirements as set out in our Terms of Engagement in the provision of service to you and conduct of your case.
How you can raise your concerns
- In the first instance we would suggest that you raise these concerns with the person with the day to day handling of your case, who will try to help and resolve the matter informally. Alternatively, you may contact the supervising solicitor who is ultimately responsible for your matter.
- Formal Complaint.
- If you however feel that you still have cause for a complaint and wish to lodge a formal complaint, please write to the Client Care Department. When you write to us, please:
- Provide your case details (reference number and the name of the caseworker dealing with your case)
- Let us know clearly the reasons why you are unhappy
- Let us know how you feel this matter can be resolved.
Sean Canning the Senior Solicitor, has overall responsibility for complaints. We have six weeks to deal with your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you can take this further to the Legal Omsbudsman.
The Client Care Department contact details are:
Client Care Department
Camden Community Law Centre
12 Greenland Road
London NW1 0AY
Tel: 0207 284 6516
What will happen next?
- If you have already sent in your complaint, we will send you an acknowledgement letter within 7 days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure and informing you who will conduct the investigation of your complaint.
- If you have not sent in your complaint before we will send you a copy of this procedure. Once we receive your complaint we will send you an acknowledgement within seven days confirming who will conduct the investigation of your complaint.
- Your complaint will be investigated and a full response will be provided by either your caseworker or the supervising solicitor.
- If it is deemed appropriate to do so in the circumstances, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. Your caseworker or the supervising solicitor will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within seven days of the meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions that have been agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, we aim to send you a detailed written reply to your complaint including our suggestions for resolving the matter within 3-4 weeks of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- We will keep you informed if we have to change any of the timescales above.
Stage Two- Review of your complaint
- If you remain dissatisfied with our first response you write to us again and we will arrange for one of our trustees to conduct an independent review of your complaint and our original decision.
- We will write to our within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- We will keep you inform if we have to change any of the timescales above.
- If you are still not satisfied and we have been unable to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process, you then have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007 that deals with legal services complaints.
Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final letter of response from us regarding your complaint, and that either the issue happened within the last 6 years or you became aware of it within the last 3 years.
The Legal Ombudsman contact details are as follows:
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333