Complaint Handling Procedure

Making a Complaint

You can register the complaint with the person dealing with your matter, their supervisor or the Principal, Gillian Huthart.  We take complaints very seriously and will aim to deal with them effectively and as soon as possible in accordance with this procedure,

Investigating the complaint

(1) The Firm will acknowledge the complaint within Fourteen days.

(2) We will conduct a full investigation and review of the matter.

(3) We aim to respond in full within eight weeks from the date of receipt of the complaint, written or oral. However, if the complaint is of a more complex nature or delays are caused by matters outside of our control we will require more time but wherever possible we will let you know when you will receive a full response.

(4) We may need to contact you for further clarification of part or parts of your complaint and if we feel it would be beneficial for you, we might invite you to attend a meeting to discuss your complaint, our findings and possible resolution. In any event we will reply to you within the specified time, usually in writing to tell you of our views on the complaint and how we propose to resolve it, hopefully to your satisfaction.

(5) If in the first instance you made a complaint to the person dealing with the matter or their supervisor and are dissatisfied with the outcome, or the way the complaint has been handled, you may reply to the Principal who will make such further investigations as are necessary.

(6) Subject to Paragraph (3) above, the Principal will inform you of the conclusions and any alternative proposals to resolve the complaint, usually within eight weeks of this being referred to her.

(7) If still unresolved at this stage, you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. You will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about the complaint;


  • in any event within 6 years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint, or;
  • alternatively, within 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there were grounds for the complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6 October 2010 or was more than 6 years ago).

(8) If the complaint relates to misconduct then you may also take your complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

(9) We record and report centrally all complaints received from complainants.

(10) We aim to identify the cause of any problems of which the complainant has complained offering appropriate redress,  and correcting any unsatisfactory procedures.

Legal Ombudsman

The Legal Ombudsman is an independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007 to deal with complaints against Solicitors.

The Legal Ombudsman may:

  • Investigate the quality of professional service supplied by a solicitor to a client.
  • Investigate allegations that a solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct.
  • Investigate allegations that a solicitor has unreasonably refused to supply a professional service to a prospective client.
  • Investigate allegations that a solicitor has persistently or unreasonably offered a professional service that the client does not want.

Before it will consider a complaint the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the firm’s internal Complaints Procedure has been exhausted. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that the firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further.

The Legal Ombudsman’s address is:

PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ; telephone, 0300 555 0333; website,; or email  [email protected]

Alternative complaints bodies (Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services.

The details of these can be found at:


When You Can Complain To The Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Solicitors Regulation Authority handles complaints where regulated firms have breached the SRA Principles.

To report a solicitor or law firm to the SRA:

Contact us to arrange a consultation with an experienced solicitor in Gateshead or Newcastle.