You would normally only engage a lawyer in situations that are predisposed to be stressful. Buying a house, running a business, legal matters, or complicated advice. Already the situation is full of pressure and potentially uncomfortable. And that is before you have made a complaint. Lawyers do their utmost to maintain a great relationship with their clients. But if you find you have reason to complain, here is how to do it properly…
There are three things you should do when laying a complaint…
1: Be Clear
Before you lay a complaint it is vital to narrow down what you are actually complaining about. Be clear in your own mind what the reason for the complaint is. That way you can provide a clear explanation to your lawyer and achieve a quick resolution.
Also, you need to have an idea of what kind of resolution you want from your complaint. You need to help your lawyer understand how to put things right. If they have overcharged, is a partial refund sufficient? Or are you seeking an apology for something? Without knowing what outcome you would like, it could be hard to reach a resolution.
2: Be Bold
Don’t sit on your complaint. Be bold and contact your lawyer about it when the issue arises. Know that your complaint will be taken seriously and that you will not be charged more for raising an issue. Your lawyer may not even be aware that a concern has arisen. They will remain in the dark unless you bring it to their attention.
If you do not want to communicate your complaint to your lawyer directly, then see if their firm has a formal complaints process. There may be someone else at the firm that you can speak to about your concern. Make your complaint in writing or via email so that there is a documented communication trail in place.
Be clear about what your complaint involves and give as much information as possible. Use direct, clear language and stick to the facts. Try to leave your emotions out of it. A resolution is hard to achieve when you are angry or emotive.
3: Be Fair
Don’t be unreasonable about your complaint. Give the lawyer, or th firm a chance to remedy the situation before elevating it or screaming from the rooftops. If your lawyer requests more information from you to allow them to investigate the complaint then provide it freely and professionally. Provide any evidence to support your complaint so it is clear what has happened and what can be done to correct things.
Remain calm and rational throughout the process, even if it takes a little bit of time for the investigation to take place. Once the investigation has been conducted, you should receive information on the outcome. If you are not happy with the resolution, then you should elevate this to the next level within the firm, or seek external advice from an Ombudsman.