Complaints procedure

Should you wish to make a complaint Mr Neil Hodgson is the person who deals with these matters (please contact Mr Paul McAlindon should the complaint be made directly against Mr Neil Hodgson) and he will be prepared to meet with you to discuss your complaint.

Our Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need our clients to tell us about it. This will help improve our standards. Whenever possible, please raise any initial client care problems with the person acting on your case to give them the opportunity of resolving matters with you. Often, matters can be quickly resolved in this way.

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact us by post to our office at Glendale House, 10 Church Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear DH4 4DN or telephone 0191`584 3333. We can be contacted via e-mail on reception@hodgsoncoulthard.com. We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints as follows:

Our Procedures

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Client Care Manager Mr Neil Hodgson, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you. If that was Mr Neil Hodgson then the matter will be passed to Mr Paul McAlindon to investigate.
  3. We will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
  4. Within five days of that meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions that have been agreed with you.
  5. If you do not want a meeting, or it is not possible, you will be sent a detailed written reply to your complaint, including the suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement latter.
  6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another member of the firm to review the decision.
  7. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
  8. If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. Contact details are as follows:

    PO Box 6806
    Wolverhampton
    WV1 9WJ
    0300 555 0333
    enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
    www.legalombudsman.org.uk
     
    Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and within the following timescales:

    • a) Six years from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring, or
    • b) Three years from the date you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint.

    However the Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness was before 6th October 2010.

    We would hope that this does not become necessary and that we can resolve matters between ourselves.If we have to change any of the above timescales we will let you know and explain why.

  9. The complaints procedure also includes complaints arising concerning our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; and that if all, or part, of a bill remains unpaid, the firm may be entitled to charge interest.

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.