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Complaints Procedure

Our complaints handling procedure

We treat all complaints about our services extremely seriously and value feedback from those who deal with us so that we can continue to improve and meet our clients’ expectations.

Our commitment

Our aim is to provide the very highest level of service to our clients at all times. As such we are committed to dealing with all complaints about the services we provide fully and fairly. We welcome your feedback as it helps us identify areas for improvement, ensuring our commitment to quality is not compromised. All our staff are fully trained in how to deal with complaints and are provided with regular guidance on how to follow the relevant procedures. This ensures all complaints are dealt with efficiently, ensuring consistency and compliance at all times.

What constitutes a complaint?

Any expression of dissatisfaction in any form from any source is identified as a possible complaint. All members of staff are trained to deal with any expressions of dissatisfaction and it is their job to take a view (in accordance with our guidelines) about whether a matter should be recorded as a formal complaint. All formal complaints are dealt with in accordance with our complaints procedure.

Instances of formal complaints could include:

  • Issues concerning bills and payments
  • The member of staff judges the matter to be sufficiently serious to warrant recording as a formal complaint
  • The client bypasses the member of staff and takes the complaint directly to any other member of staff or to the director responsible for dealing with complaints
  • Anyone notifying us, either verbally or in writing, that a complaint is being made
  • Any dissatisfaction expressed concerning the way a matter is being or has been dealt with

Please note that disputes concerning bills may also be dealt with by applying to the court for assessment under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Further details are provided in the notes which accompany every bill.

The Procedure – Making an initial complaint

Complaints should be raised with the person dealing with the matter or, if you prefer, with the Manager responsible for dealing with complaints (see contact details below)

Following notification of a formal complaint we will:

  • Acknowledge your complaint within three working days
  • Provide a formal response within twenty one days
  • Tell you the name of the person handling the matter
  • The matter will be fully investigated by the fee earner or head of department, overseen by the Manager responsible for dealing with complaints. There may be circumstances where the matter will be investigated by the Manager responsible for handling complaints for investigation and response.
  • Upon receipt of the response, if you are unhappy with our decision, we will provide details of who to contact to complain further.
  • Your complaint file will be retained by the Manager responsible for complaints

​Further complaint

  • Further issues will be acknowledged within three working days
  • A full, formal and substantive response will be provided within twenty one days
  • All complaints with relevant associated documentation are retained for a minimum of three years. Thereafter they will be confidentially destroyedThe manager responsible for dealing with complaints regularly reviews all complaints made about the firm. These findings are reviewed when examining the underlying operational procedures and, if appropriate, may lead to changes in policy and procedure.

​Still unhappy?

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your complaint, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman. They can be contacted as follows:

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 6806

Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

E: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
T: 0300 555 0333

W: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

You have six months from the date of our substantive response to you regarding your complaint to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. Any Legal Ombudsman referral should be within six years from the act or omission occurring or within three years from the date the complainant should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint.

Contacting us

If you have any comments or require further information, or you wish to complain, please contact the manager responsible for handing complaints.

Nicola Rowe – Practice Manager

Guy Williams Layton

Pacific Chambers

11-13 Victoria Street

Liverpool, L2 5QQ

T: 0151 236 7171

E: nlr@gwl.co.uk

The Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Solicitors Regulation Authority are able to offer support if you are concerned about the behaviour of Guy Williams Layton LLP, in relation to such things like dishonesty, treating you unfairly because of your age, disability or any other relevant characteristic or taking/losing your money.