Our complaints policy
Guardian Wills and Probate Services Limited t/a Clifford Smith & Buchanan is committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a complaint, please direct your letter to the firms “Client Care Manager”. You can write to the firms’ “Client Care Manager” at Client Care Manager, Clifford Smith & Buchanan, 79 to 81 Scotland Road, Nelson, BB9 7UY. Please write by first class post or recorded delivery..
What will happen next?
- Within three working days we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. Your file(s) and any other documentation relevant to your complaint will be reviewed.
- Your complaint will be recorded in our central register and a file opened for your complaint.
- If it seems appropriate we will suggest a meeting at this stage. I would hope to be in a position to meet with you in this way no longer than 14 working days after first receiving your complaint. If you would prefer not to meet, or if we cannot arrange this within an agreeable timescale, I will write to you fully setting out my views on the situation and any redress that I would feel to be appropriate.
- Within three working days of any meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions that we have agreed.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, please let me know. I will then review my decision again.
- We will let you know the result of the review within five 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 you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Office for Legal Complaints about your complaint.
Ordinarily, a complainant cannot use the Legal Ombudsman unless the complainant has first used the firm’s internal complaints procedure. But a complainant can use the Legal Ombudsman if:
- The complaint has not been resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction within 8 weeks of first making the compliant to the firm;
- or an Ombudsman considers that there are exceptional reasons to consider the complaint sooner, or, without it having been made to the firm first;
- or where an Ombudsman considers that in house resolution is not possible due to irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between the firm and the complainant.
A complainant to the Legal Ombudsman must be one of the following:
- An individual;
- A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
- A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;
- A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million;
- or a personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.
- If you are not, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
Legal Ombudsman Contact Details
- Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
- Telephone: 0300 555 0333
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Clifford Smith & Buchanan Limited, Legal Department Tel 01282 693182, https://www.cs-b.co.uk
PLEASE NOTE A REASONABLE RESPONSE TIME FOR A REPLY TO YOUR EMAIL, LETTER OR PHONE CALL IS 5 WORKING DAYS.
BEFORE SENDING ANY FUNDS TO OUR FIRM YOU MUST RING TO CHECK OUR BANK DETAILS AND OBTAIN OUR AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE THE FUNDS FROM YOU.
For Property Ombudsman Complaints –
We are committed to providing a professional service to all our clients and customers. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint, please put it in writing, including as much detail as possible. We will then respond in line with the time frames set out below (if you feel we have not sought to address your complaints within eight weeks, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Property Ombudsman to consider without our final viewpoint on the matter).
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally be dealt with by the office manager who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who dealt with you. A formal written outcome of our investigation will be sent to you within 15 working days of sending the acknowledgement letter.
- If at this stage, you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a separate review to take place by a senior member of staff.
- We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final viewpoint on the matter.
The Property Ombudsman
43-55 Milford Street
01722 333 306
Please note the following:
You will need to submit your complaint to The Property Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving our final viewpoint letter, including any evidence to support your case.
The Property Ombudsman requires that all complaints are addressed through this in-house complaints procedure, before being submitted for an independent review