Our Complaints Policy
Our Complaints Policy
At Cognitive Law, 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.
You are invited to direct your complaint to our Practice Manager, Francesca Damario, who will be responsible for the management of your complaint on behalf of and in conjunction with the Complaints Director. Our Complaints Director is Lucy Tarrant. Both are based at Sussex Innovation Centre, University of Sussex, Science Park Square, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9SB. Francesca can be contacted on 0333 400 4499 or by email at email@example.com. Please do not hesitate to contact her at your convenience. We would like to assure you that your complaint will be diligently handled by our Practice Manager and escalated to our Complaints Director should the need arise.
What will happen next?
- If appropriate we will telephone you upon receipt of your complaint. We very much hope that the complaint can be resolved informally.
- We will acknowledge your complaint in writing as quickly as possible and certainly within 7 days.
- Once we have the information we need we will investigate your complaint. We aim to complete the investigation and respond to you within 4-8 weeks, in accordance with the guidelines of the Legal Ombudsman.
- If the investigation is not going to be complete within 4-8 weeks we will write to you with an explanation, and give you the best indication of how long the investigation will take to complete.
- You may be invited to attend a meeting to discuss the matter but there is no obligation on you to accept the invitation.
- 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.
- If your complaint is about the amount 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 your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction within 8 weeks of making the complaint, you may be entitled to apply to the Legal Ombudsman to resolve the matter. The Legal Ombudsman will not usually investigate any complaint made to them more than 6 months after we have responded to any complaint made to us.
- In respect of any complaint where we have provided you with a substantive response, if you are unhappy with that response, you have the right to complain direct to the Legal Ombudsman.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint
In the unfortunate circumstance that we cannot resolve your complaint, you may wish to take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. 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,
- Not later than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or;
- Not later than one year from the date when you should have realised that there was cause for complaint.
There may be circumstances where the Legal Ombudsman has a discretion to accept out of time complaints, please refer to the Legal Ombudsman’s website for further details at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
If you do wish to contact the Legal Ombudsman, please see their details below:
PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH.
Telephone Number: 0300 555 0333
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
You also have the right to make a report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if 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.
To make a report visit the this page on Reporting an individual or firm or contact the SRA at Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN , Telephone: 0370 606 2555.
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.