Our Complaints Policy

Wake Smith Solicitors is committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients.  In the event of a problem arising, therefore, we want you to tell us about it.  This will allow us to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, help us to improve our standards, and assist in preventing any reoccurrence of the problem.

In the event of a complaint, our intention is that this policy:

Our Complaints Manager is Neil Salter.

Complaints Procedure

If you are dissatisfied with our service, we would ask you firstly to bring the issue to the attention of the person who has conduct of your case, or their supervisor.  You will have been informed who the supervisor is in the Client Care documentation sent to you at the start of your matter.

If your dissatisfaction cannot be resolved at that stage, you should write to our Complaints Manager, Neil Salter, at No 1 Velocity, 2 Tenter Street, Sheffield, S1 4BY with full details of the issues causing your dissatisfaction. Alternatively, you can send him an email with those details at [email protected]

You do not have to raise your complaint in writing. However, setting out your complaint in writing, either in a letter or an email, may help you to focus on the specific issues causing you dissatisfaction and would assist us in understanding the nature of your complaint and the remedy or remedies you are seeking. It is important for both of us to be clear as to the cause of your concerns and how they might be resolved to your satisfaction.

Once you have formally confirmed your complaint to us, the following process will begin:

  1. Your complaint will be acknowledged by post within seven working days of receipt. If there are any further details needed to investigate your complaint, you will be requested to provide them, and you may be asked to confirm or explain any points which remain unclear.
  2. Your complaint will be recorded in a central register and a separate file for your complaint will be opened. The Complaints Manager will review your complaint, and decide how it will be best investigated.  He may decide to delegate the investigation of your complaint and a response to it to another director within the Company if it appears to him that to do so would provide a more effective means of resolving your complaint.  If he decides upon this course of action, he will notify you who will be investigating your complaint, and why.
  3. The person complained of will be asked to provide a detailed response to your complaint within 10 working days of your formal complaint being received.
  4. Within five working days of the detailed response being completed, the file and the response will be reviewed and, if necessary, a discussion of the matter held with the person complained of.
  5. Within a further five working days, you will be provided either with:
  1. If, having received our final response to your complaint, you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) for investigation.

If any of the timescales described above cannot be met, we will notify you, explain the reason for the delay and provide you with a time-scale for completing any remaining steps.

We are committed to trying to resolve any dispute in an amicable and sensible way, and believe that this can be best achieved through a properly conducted dialogue along the lines described above.  However, at any time during this process, or if you continue to remain dissatisfied with our handling of your complaint, you may refer your complaint to the LeO.

You should be aware that, under the rules operated by the LeO, your complaint should be brought to the LeO either:

Ordinarily, the issue causing your complaint should have occurred after 5th October 2010 or you only found out about the issue after that date. If you are unable to comply with this time limit, the LeO may be unable to investigate your complaint.

You should also be aware that complaints should be brought to the LeO within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint from us.  Both of these time limit rules should be satisfied for LeO to accept your complaint.

If you want to contact the LeO, you should call 0300 555 0333, e-mail [email protected] or write to The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. The LeO website address is http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

Please note that from 1 April 2023 these time limits are changing. From 1 April 2023 the LeO expects complaints to be made to them within a year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within a year of you realising there was a concern. The requirement to refer your concerns to the LeO within six months of our final response to you remains the same.

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

If your concern relates to our behaviour, as opposed to our service or advice, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help. 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 the SRA’s website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Contact us