Knights is committed to providing the highest standards of professional legal service to all of our clients.
We therefore strive for continuous improvement in all that we do, by listening to and learning from the experiences of our valued clients. Consequently, in the unfortunate event that a client feels dissatisfied with the service they have received, we will endeavour to address their concerns as quickly and fully as possible, through the procedure described below.
If you have not already given us an outline of your concerns (which you may have done in writing or by telephone), we would be grateful if you would now do so. If you wish to contact us by post, please address your concerns to:
The Compliance Manager
If you prefer to contact us by email, please use the address firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to telephone, please call 01865 811700 and ask to speak to the Compliance Team.
Initially you may receive an acknowledgment from our Compliance Co-ordinator, but your concerns will be referred to one of our Compliance Managers, who will then make contact with you directly, and will retain overall responsibility for the handling of your concerns through to the completion of this procedure.
1. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days, seeking any clarification or further information that we might need in order to fully investigate. If you have raised your complaint by telephone, we will summarise our understanding of the issues in our acknowledgment.
2. We will then investigate the complaint that you have raised. This will involve an objective review of the file for your matter and discussions with the staff who provided the service to you.
3.We will then provide our final response to your complaint in writing, and this may include proposals for resolving the matter. We will provide this final response within eight weeks of the date upon which we received sufficient details of your complaint to enable us to fully investigate.
4. In the unlikely event that we cannot complete our investigations within this timescale, we will let you know and explain the reasons for any extension. As a guide, this generally only occurs in circumstances where we need the input of third parties outside of Knights, which cannot be obtained within the eight week period.
5. It is important to be aware that, where outstanding monies are due to Knights plc, all monies due to Knights plc will be recovered in the normal way and in the normal time frames, in accordance with our terms and conditions of business. This will progress entirely separately from, and notwithstanding, the investigation of your complaint. Please be assured that, in the event that your complaint is upheld (either through our complaints procedure or via the Legal Ombudsman), any necessary refund fees will be made upon conclusion of your complaint.
IF YOU REMAIN CONCERNED
6. Our final written response will be the conclusion of our complaints procedure. After you have received our final written response, in the unlikely event that you feel that your complaint has still not been resolved, you may be entitled to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. If your complaint relates to matters of professional conduct, then it may be appropriate for you to escalate this to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Respective contact details are below:
Legal Ombudsman Service, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Tel: 0300 555 0333 Web: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN
Tel: 0370 606 2555 Web: www.sra.org.uk
We will remind you of this option at the end of our final written response to your complaint. Ordinarily, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider your complaint if all of the criteria set out in 6.1 - 6.3 below are met;
6.1 The problem, or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010;
6.2 You are referring the matter to the Ombudsman within;
(a) six years of the problem occurring; or
(b) three years of the date upon which you found out about it; and
(c) within six months of the date of Knights final written response to your concerns, pursuant to this procedure.
6.3 You are;
(a) an individual;
(b) an enterprise with less than ten staff, or with a balance sheet of less than two million euros as defined by the European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003;
(c) a club, association or society with an annual income of less than £1 million;
(d) a charity with an annual income of less than £1 million;
(e) a trustee of a trust with a net asset value of less than £1 million;
(f) a personal representative or the residuary beneficiary of an estate where a person with a complaint about legal services provided to them died before referring their concerns to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not able to meet the criteria set out in 6.1 - 6.3 above, the only available route available to you is to seek redress through mediation, arbitration or by action through the courts.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has confirmed that the following Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entities are currently available to deal with disputes in the legal sector; Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation, in the event that you wish to engage in mediation in relation to your concerns. However, please be aware that Knights will not be agreeable to engaging in ADR mediation until such time as the Legal Ombudsman is certified as an approved ADR provider.