Complaint handling isn't just about dealing with things that go wrong - it's also about ensuring that things go right.
We want to use our experience of legal complaints to help you avoid the most common problems. Below are some of our top tips to help things go as smoothly as possible. We also have practical guides covering different areas of legal work.
Terms of business (or letter of engagement)
When you consult a lawyer they must provide you with their Terms of Business or a Letter of Engagement. That confirms what you can expect from them – and may include what they expect of you. It will include:
- Who is doing the work
- What is included - and likely what is not included - in the work to be done
- How much you will pay or how the fee will be calculated
- Your right to complain, and who to contact, if you’re unhappy with the service provided.
Communicating with your lawyer
Prepare before you meet and be ready to answer questions. Try to take notes on the discussion and any action you need to take.
Agree how you will communicate and how often and tell your lawyer if you have any specific communication needs .
Be open and honest. Read any documents carefully. If you’re asked for information, try to provide this quickly and update your lawyer if anything changes.
Ask about costs, how they’ll be calculated and how you can pay. Ask about timescales and anything that might affect them. Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something.
If you’re not happy
Talk to your lawyer if you’re not happy with what they’re doing or suggesting.
Your lawyer or the firm should respond to any complaint you make and there is no charge for complaining.
If you’re not happy with their response, or they haven’t responded to you after 28 days, you can complaint to us.