Transparency & Complaints

1.1          We operate strict client care and quality policies and always aim to provide you with the highest level of legal expertise and to be available, approachable, understandable, prompt and courteous.

1.2          The majority of our clients are very happy with the service we provide them, but in the unlikely event that you have any cause for concern, including about a bill, and you have not been able to resolve this issue between yourself and the relevant fee earner then we would ask that you write to our designated Complaints Officer, Jonathan Beck who is the Complaints Officer of The Company.  We take all feedback from clients seriously and operate a Complaints Handling Procedure, a copy of which is available upon request.

1.3          We are usually able to deal with any concerns you have promptly and to your satisfaction, but if this is not the case, you will be able to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman provided you do so within one year of becoming aware of the problem or within six months of the end of our internal complaints procedure if you are still not satisfied with the outcome. The Legal Ombudsman does have discretion to extend these time scales. You should also be aware that, when your complaint relates to a bill, the Legal Ombudsman will not consider your complaint while your bill is being assessed by a court.

1.4          Ordinarily, you cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless you have first used The Company’s internal complaints procedure. But you can use the Legal Ombudsman if:

(a)          The complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within 8 weeks of first making the complaint to the firm; or

(b)          The Ombudsman considers that there are exceptional reasons to consider the complaint sooner or without it having been made to The Company first; or

(c)           Where the Ombudsman considers that in-house resolution is not possible due to the irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between you and the firm.

1.5          A complainant to the Legal Ombudsman must be one of the following:

(a)          An individual

(b)          A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);

(c)           A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;

(d)          A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million

(e)          A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or a personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.

1.6          If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.

1.7          Legal Ombudsman Contact Details

(a)          Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

(b)          Telephone: 0300 555 0333

(c)           Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

(d)          Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

1.8          Black Norman Solicitors is committed to ensuring that all Directors, Consultants and Employees give their full co-operation to the Legal Ombudsman in the event of any dispute or complaint against the firm.

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.