We operate a system throughout the office of insisting our employees meet certain standards with regard to client care. Such standards include: -
Clients should be made aware of important correspondence;
Telephone calls from the client are to be returned the same day if possible;
Correspondence of any sort is to be dealt with promptly;
Letters to clients are to be written in plain English;
Appointments are to be given to clients without undue delay.
There are other standards, but these are the main ones that apply to client dealings with us. In return we ask clients to respond to our requests promptly and to pay our fees and monies paid to third parties on the clients behalf without delay.
Proceeds of Crime Act
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to avoid offences of money laundering, we need to have a full proof of identification from the client when they first instruct us unless they are a client already known to this firm. If the client is a new client, please let us have a copy of a passport or photo driving licence as soon as possible.
We are committed to providing high quality Legal Advice and Client Care. We hope that our clients do not have to complain about the service they receive from this firm. Should there be any aspect of our service with which they are unhappy they should speak to Mr. Neville Warburton. He is the person responsible for dealing with complaints. If the complaint is about Mr. Neville Warburton, please contact Mr. James Warburton.
We will initially try to deal with the complaint either by telephone or in writing. If the client is not happy then we will be pleased to arrange a face to face meeting at no cost to the client. Procedures are in place that detail how we handle complaints, which is available at our offices upon request. We have a Complaints File where the client’s views will be recorded and will be available for inspection. The right to complain (or raise a concern) includes the right to complain about a bill.
In the unlikely event that we are unable to resolve matters to the client’s satisfaction, the client would be at liberty to contact the Legal Ombudsman whose address is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Their website is www.legalombudsman.org.uk. 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
No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you 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.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Legal Privilege and Confidentiality
We are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential and to ensure that all members of staff are aware of this. Certain confidential communications can never be revealed without the consent of the client and this protection is called legal professional privilege.
However, not everything that lawyers have a duty to keep confidential is privileged and our solicitors can explain this in more detail. Please note that whilst privileged communications can never be divulged to the Court without the client’s authority, solicitors are under a duty to provide information to the Court which is not privileged, and which enables the Court to further the overriding objective by actively managing the case.
Jones Knowles Warburton holds information about clients on our computer system, which has been obtained during our relationship with our clients, primarily for the provision of legal services. Our use of this information is subject to client instructions subject to Professional Privilege and The Data Protection Act 1998, and our duty of confidentiality. Please note that our work may require us to give information to third parties, such as expert witnesses, Counsel and other professional advisers. The client has a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data held about them.
All Jones Knowles Warburton clients should be aware that: -
they are entitled to complain about their bill.
there may also be right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Complaints Service (or the Office for Legal Complaints) and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors’ Act 1974; and
if all or part of the bill remains unpaid the firm may be entitled to charge interest.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Our firm holds professional indemnity insurance and, should the client so request, we would provide the client with the name and contact details of our professional indemnity insurer and details of the territorial coverage of the insurance.
The professional rules relating to solicitors’ firms including the Code of Conduct can be accessed on the website of the Solicitors Regulation Authority at www.sra.org.uk/code-of-conduct.page.