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Client complaints policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we want you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

1. Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details. If it is possible to do so by letter that is most helpful.

Our client care information sheet setting out our terms and conditions of business invites you to take the complaint up with the person who is handling the file first. If you have not done that, then we invite you to consider doing so now. If you have done so and the complaint has not been resolved, or if you would prefer not to do so, then please write to Mr Charles Duchenne.

2. What will happen next?

We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and may ask you to confirm or explain the details set out. You can expect to receive our letter of acknowledgment within 7 days of us receiving your complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.

3. The complaints file

  1. We will record your complaint in our central register and open a separate file for your complaint. We will do this within 5 days of receiving your complaint.
  2. If we have asked for further details we will acknowledge your reply and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to hear from us within 7 days receiving of your reply.
4. Investigation
  1. We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve Mr Duchenne considering all the relevant papers and your file, and if necessary, he may speak to Mrs Duchenne.
  2. Mr Duchenne may invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. This will be done within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. Within 5 days after the meeting, he will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions agreed with you.
  3. If you do not want a meeting or this is not practicable, Mr Duchenne will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter. He will do this within 25 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
5. Review
  1. At this stage, if you remain dissatisfied you can write again to Mr Duchenne within 14 days and he will then arrange to review his decision.
  2. We will let you know the result of the review within 14 days of receiving your request. At this point we will also write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
  3. If we are unable to resolve your complaint in this way, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman whose details are set out below. Generally the time limits imposed by the Legal Ombudsman for you to bring a complaint to their attention are:
    1. 6 years from the date of act/omission; or
    2. 3 years from the date that you were aware that there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6th October 2010 or was more than 6 years ago); and
    3. within 6 months of our final letter to you reviewing your complaint.

You may also be able to apply to the Court for an assessment of our bill under part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.

Contact details

Mr Charles Duchenne, Duchennes, Hassett House, Hassett Street, Bedford MK40 1HA (tel: 01234 356678).

The Legal Ombudsman, P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ (tel: 0300 555 0333) or email them at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk or refer to their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk . The Legal Ombudsman may not deal with a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the Court for assessment of that bill.

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

November 2018

Hassett House
Hassett Street
Bedford MK40 1HA

Tel: 01234 356678
Fax: 01234 343282