Bird & Bird LLP is committed to providing the highest standard of service to all our clients. We value each client and take pride in the service we provide. If at any point you become concerned or unhappy about the service you have received please tell us about it immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your matter.
In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the partner responsible for handling your matter and we will do our best to resolve any issue at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then our complaints procedure is set out below.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint, please contact our Complaints Officer and Joint Head of Risk & Compliance, Jenny Cassidy (020 7415 6000 or [email protected]), or in her absence, Joint Head of Risk & Compliance, David Whitney (020 7415 6000 or [email protected]), both in the London office.
What will happen next?
We will write to you acknowledging receipt of your complaint (and enclosing a copy of this procedure), and may ask you to confirm or explain the details of your complaint. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our communication within 3 days of us receiving your complaint.
We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the Complaints Officer who will investigate the complaint or appoint another person in the firm to investigate it, which includes, as appropriate, reviewing the matter file, speaking to the client partner, matter partner or other partner responsible for the work or its supervision, speaking to the individual responsible for the work and liaising with any other office of the firm involved.
We may invite you to meet the person who is investigating your complaint to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He/she will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgment letter.
Within 3 days of such meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions we have agreed with you.
If you do not want a meeting or it is not practicable or appropriate, we will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter. This should ordinarily happen within 21 working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
If you are still not satisfied you should contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways:
the Complaints Officer or other person handling your complaint will review his/her own decision within 10 working days;
we will arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it. They will do this within 14 working days; or
we will invite you to agree to independent mediation. We will let you know how long this process will take.
We will let you know the result of the review within 5 working days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
If you remain unhappy about the outcome and it relates to a matter that concerns England and Wales or to a Bird & Bird Individual who is an authorised person as defined by section 129 of the UK Legal Services Act 2007 (e.g. a solicitor, barrister, or trade mark attorney), you may have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Normally you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within a year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned about or within a year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. The Legal Ombudsman may consider your complaint in circumstances outside those detailed above, where there are exceptional reasons.
The Legal Ombudsman's contact details are: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ; telephone 0300 555 0333; [email protected]; www.legalombudsman.org.uk. If your matter concerns Ireland, you may be able to complain to the Irish Legal Services Regulatory Authority; https://www.lsra.ie/make-a-complaint/what-you-can-complain-about/.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority ("SRA") can help 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. Guidance on how you can raise your concerns with the SRA can be found on the SRA website (https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/).