Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure

  1. At Mint Legal our aim is to give all clients a great service at all times. However, if you have a complaint please let us know as soon as possible, by telephone or in writing.

Procedure for dealing with your complaint

  • There are a number of ways in which your complaint may be dealt with:
    • Discussion over the telephone;
    • Dealt with by correspondence;
    • Discussion at a meeting between us;
    • The appointment of a mediator who will try to facilitate the resolution of your complaint;
    • The appointment of an arbitrator whose decision we both agree shall be binding.
    • Formal complaint to the Legal Ombudsman

Complaints made by telephone

  • If you wish to make a complaint by telephone, a note will be made of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. We will endeavour to resolve matters with you on the telephone. If after discussion you are satisfied with the outcome, a note will be made of the outcome and the fact that you are satisfied. If you are not satisfied you may wish to make a written complaint.

Complaints made in writing

  • If you wish to make a written complaint please provide us with the following details:-
    • Your name, telephone number and address;
    • The detail of your complaint; and
    • What you would like done about it.
  • Upon receipt of a written complaint Mint Legal will
    •  Reply in writing, normally within 48 hours, to acknowledge the complaint and inform you how we shall be dealing with it.
    • Reply within 14 days responding in full to your complaint. We will offer you the opportunity of a meeting if that is appropriate. In the unlikely event that we are not able to reply within 14 days we will inform you of a new date for the reply and the reasons for the delay.
  • The reply in writing will set out:
    • The nature and scope of the investigations carried out investigation;
    • The conclusions reached on each complaint and the reasons for those conclusions; and
    • If the complaint, or any part of it, is justified our proposals for resolving the complaint.
  • If you indicate that you are not happy with the written response you may ask for mediation or arbitration

Mediation and Arbitration

  • Mediation is a confidential process which gives us the opportunity to meet together with an independent third-party so together we can decide how to sort out the complaint. The third party (“the mediator”) will help us to talk through the problem to see if we can agree a fair and reasonable solution. Mediation is voluntary, which means we must both agree to it.
  •  Arbitration is more formal than mediation and we would have to agree to abide by the decision of the arbitrator. If we decide to appoint an arbitrator, we both would need to agree how the arbitrator should approach his/her task and the limit of the compensation that can be awarded. The Bar Sole Practitioners Group (BSPG) or local Circuit will be approached and a barrister will be appointed to arbitrate. We will decide together whether it will be the BSPG or the local Circuit who should be approached. However, neither of us may veto the person chosen. It is expected that the BSPG and the Circuit will chose someone who has considerable experience in the area that is the subject matter of the dispute.

Formal Complaint to the Legal Ombudsman

  1. If you fall within their jurisdiction, you may make a formal complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints handling body for complaints about lawyers.
  2. They can be contacted at:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806,
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

  1. Please note the timeframe for referral of complaints to the Ombudsman:
    1. Six years from the date of the act/omission
    1. Three years from the date that the complainant should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago)
    1. Within six months of the complainant receiving a final response from their lawyer, if that response complies with the requirements in rule 4.4 of the Scheme Rules (which requires the response to include prominently an explanation that the Legal Ombudsman was available if the complainant remained dissatisfied and the provision of full contact details for the Ombudsman and a warning that the complaint must be referred to them within six months
    1. The Ombudsman can extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances. Chambers must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether they are able to investigate your complaint.
    1. Mint Legal will not usually deal with complaints that fall outside of the Legal Ombudsman’s time limits.

Complaints by Non-Clients

  1. Mint Legal may not always be able to investigate a complaint brought by a non-client. This is because our ability to satisfactorily investigate and resolve such matters is limited and complaints of this nature are often better suited to the disciplinary processes maintained by the Bar Standards Board.
  2. Therefore, in the event of a complaint by a non-client Mint Legal will make an initial assessment of the complaint and if the issues raised cannot be satisfactorily resolved through Mint Legal’s complaints process, we will refer you to the Bar Standards Board.
  3. Similarly, If you are not a client of Mint Legal and are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation then please contact the Bar Standards Board at:

Bar Standards Board
Professional Conduct Department
289-293 High Holborn
London
WC1V 7JZ

Telephone number: 0207 6111 444

Website: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk

Confidentiality

  1. Mint Legal will maintain confidentiality at all times and discuss your complaint only as is necessary for its resolution and to comply with requests for information from the Bar Standards Board discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.
  2.  Mint Legal may discuss your complaint with other barristers or officials from the Bar Standards Board for their advice. Mint Legal will not reveal your name to others unless setting up mediation or arbitration.
  3. Mint Legal will retain all correspondence and other documents generated in the course of your complaint for a period of six years.
  4. Mint Legal will review complaints at least once a year to ensure good standards of service.