Our Complaints Handling Procedure

Foxfield Solicitors is committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards. Whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problems with the person acting on your matter to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you. Often matters can be quickly resolved in this way.

What is the first step?

Please contact us to set out the reason for your dissatisfaction with our service, as soon as possible after the problem becomes apparent to you.

Who do I contact and how?

You can contact the person responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the matter. We may be able to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction quickly and informally.
If you have a concern or a complaint that has not been dealt with to your satisfaction by the person handling your case or their supervising partner, please contact Simon Vaile as soon as you are aware of the problem so that this can be addressed. Simon is a partner of the practice and is the director responsible for client care.
You can give us a call, email us, or set it out in a letter. Alternatively, you are welcome to request a face-to-face meeting with us at one of our offices.

Simon Vaile’s contact details are as follows:

5 Long Street

What happens next?

We will formally acknowledge your complaint, in writing, within 5 days, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
We will then investigate the complaint thoroughly, and may request more information of you in order to do so. Simon Vaile, director in charge of client care, will usually lead the investigation, reviewing your matter file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you. If Simon is involved in the matter himself, director Fiona Capehorn will lead the investigation instead.
Simon or Fiona will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and, it is hoped, resolve your complaint. They will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
Within 3 days of the meeting, Simon or Fiona 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, Simon or Fiona will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including details of how we investigated your complaint and what our investigation uncovered, and our suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will review your comments.
We will write to you 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 informed throughout about the progress of the investigation and any action we are taking.
You may be asked to confirm in writing that the complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction, if that is the case.

What can I do if I do not feel that you have dealt with my complaint to my satisfaction?

You can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider your complaint. We hope that this does not become necessary and that we can resolve matters between ourselves. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent ombudsman scheme that resolves complaints about lawyers. It can decide whether the service provided was fair and reasonable in all circumstances and, if it decides that this was not the case, will determine the consequences for the complainant.
Once your complaint is referred to the Legal Ombudsman, an investigator will investigate the complaint and make recommendations. You have 6 months from the date of our final response to you in which to contact the Legal Ombudsman, within the following timescales:
• Six years from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring; or
• Three years from the date you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint.

You can contact the Legal Ombudsman using the details below:
Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
0300 555 0333

If we are unable to settle the complaint with you, alternative complaints bodies (such as ProMediate ) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and Stevenson Vaile Solicitors wish to use such a scheme.

Will you record details of my complaint?

Yes. We will record details of your complaint both on your matter file, and also on our Complaints Log. We record the nature of your complaint, details and findings of the investigation, decisions taken and remedial action completed. You may wish to keep your own written records of events.

Will I be charged for the complaints handling procedure?

No, there is no fee for the complaints handling procedure. If the procedure has any effect on your case, we will let you know.

Can I complain about my bill?

Yes. As a client, you have a right to complain about or challenge your bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the court for assessment of that bill.
We will inform you if we are able to charge interest on all or part of your bill.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”)

If the Legal Ombudsman feels that your case involves a breach of the SRA Principles, they will refer your case to the SRA. If you feel that we have breached on of these Principles, you can report the matter directly to the SRA. Issues that the SRA investigate include allegations of dishonesty or discrimination.

To contact the SRA and for more details on making a report, visit