Complaints Procedure

Our Complaints Policy

We are 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.

Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint, write to us with the details.

What will happen next?
1 We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm.

or explain the details set out. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within five working days (i.e. excluding Bank Holidays and weekends) of us receiving your complaint.

2 We will record your complaint in our central register and open a separate file for your complaint. We will do this within one working day of receiving your complaint.

3 We will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgment letter and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to hear from us within five working days of your reply.

4 We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps:

  • we will pass your complaint to Sarah Lapsley, our Complaints Handler, within three working days unless she is the fee earner in which case the matter will be referred to John Wroblewski
  • she will ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint within seven working days;
  • she will then examine the reply and the information in your complaint file. If necessary, she may also speak to them. This will take up to seven working days from receiving the reply and the file.

5 Sarah Lapsley will then invite you to meet her and discuss and, we hope, resolve your complaint. She will do this within seven working days.

6 Within two working days of the meeting Sarah Lapsley will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions she has agreed with you. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Sarah Lapsley will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include her suggestions for resolving the matter. She will do this within five working days of completing her investigation.

7 At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways:

  1. We will pass your complaint to Sarah Lapsley, our client care partner, within three working days.
  2. She will ask the member of staff who acted for you to reply to your complaint within seven working days.
  3. She will then examine the reply and the information in your complaint file. If necessary, she may also speak to them. This will take up seven working days from receiving the reply and the file.

8 We will let you know the result of the review within four working days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. If you remain dissatisfied at the end of our complaints process, you would then be at liberty to contact the Legal Ombudsman, provided you are an individual, a personal representative of a deceased person, a “micro-enterprise” (having fewer than 10 employees and annual turnover or assets not exceeding £1 million, or a trustee of a trust with assets of less than £1 million. The Legal Ombudsman can investigate complaints up to six years from the date of the problem happening or within three years of when someone should have found out about the problem. However, if we send a final written response to your complaint within eight weeks of receiving it, the time limit for you to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman would be six months from the date of that final response. If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, their contact details are as follows:-

  • Website – legalombudsman.org.uk
  • Telephone – 0300 555 0333 between 8:30am to 5:30pm (calls to 03 numbers will cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers starting 01 or 02) from both mobiles and landlines. Calls are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes.
  • Email – enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
  • Postal address – Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can assist you in certain circumstances such as the following:

i). Shutting down a law firm without telling you
ii). Dishonesty or deliberately overcharging you
iii). Taking or losing your money
iv). Treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can be contacted as follows:

  • Website - sra.org.uk
  • Telephone - 0370 06 2555 between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 9:30 am to 6:00 pm on a Tuesday.
  • Email: contactcentre@sra.org.uk
  • Postal Address: Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B11RN

Alternative complaints resolution bodies also exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services, should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme at the end of our internal complaints process. They provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services. Small Claims Mediation is one such body, details of which can be found at www.small-claims-mediation.co.uk; and another is Ombudsman Services, details of which can be found at www.ombudsman-services.org. Under the provisions of the EU Directive on Consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution, to pursue this process you would have to be a “consumer”, namely an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside your trade, business, craft or profession.

If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

Got a question?

We want to hear from you. If you have any queries for Cook & Talbot, just CLICK HERE and complete your details and arrange your FREE 30 Minute consultation.

Our clients say...

  • Mr and Mrs H – Suffolk
    Thank you for the great service during our house selling/buying process. It is the 2nd time we have used you for a house move and once again you have been really easy to deal with, efficient, quick to respond to queries etc……So really I just wanted to say thank you to you and the team for making the process nice and stress free (and quick!) for us. It is much appreciated and we will continue to recommend you to friends.
    Mr and Mrs H – Suffolk
  • JB – Southport
    Thank you so much for dealing with my sale and purchase. I was very pleased with the way you dealt with my concerns and the online system was very impressive.
    JB – Southport
  • Miss B – Southport
    This is just a huge thank you for all your professionalism, hard work and total kindness during my flat purchase.
    Miss B – Southport
  • Miss B and Mr S – Southport
    As always the service we have received from Cook and Talbot has been first class. As you know this has not been the easiest and most straightforward of sales and purchases, and your prompt responses to queries and requests have been most helpful.
    Miss B and Mr S – Southport
  • Mrs K – Southport
    May I take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for dealing with all my transactions smoothly and efficiently and I am now very pleased to be in my new home at last.
    Mrs K – Southport
  • Miss P – Southport
    I just wanted to thank you for the efficient and excellent service we have received from you regarding the sale and purchase of our property. The experience was not at all stressful (which it has been in the past) and I´d like to extend our thanks to you for that!
    Miss P – Southport
  • Mrs M – Cornwall
    I wanted to thank you so much for overseeing my application for remortgage so brilliantly. From the beginning to completion you were consistently helpful, informative and reassuring and kept me up to date with each step of the process, which was greatly appreciated. I was really impressed and delighted that you made the whole thing so straightforward and painless especially as my previous legal experience when securing my original mortgage was anything but.
    Mrs M – Cornwall
  • Mr H – Bedfordshire
    Excellent service and advice as usual in what proved a slightly difficult case.
    Mr H – Bedfordshire
  • Mrs H – Bolton
    Thank you to all your staff for the smooth sale of my property……I would have no qualms about recommending your firm of solicitors to any of my friends…
    Mrs H – Bolton
  • Mortgage Brokers – Watford
    Thank you very much for the attention to detail and the speed in which you work for us…
    Mortgage Brokers – Watford
  • Mr and Mrs G – Southport
    We would like to say a huge thank you for all your efforts during our recent house purchase. Your professional service and constant updates has ensured that the process was as stress-free as possible and for that we are very grateful. We would have no hesitation in recommending your services for the future”
    Mr and Mrs G – Southport