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Complaints Policy and Procedure

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Our complaints policy  

We are 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 address your concerns and improve our service standards for the future.

Our Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint which has not been resolved by the person dealing with your matter, please immediately contact Mr James Willis, our Client Care Officer.  You can write to him at 117-119 High Street, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1DD.  Alternatively, you can email him at james.willis@stevensdrake.com  

What will happen next?

On receipt of a complaint, we will normally respond as follows:

1. We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you for any further information we may require in order properly to investigate it.  We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.  You can expect to receive our initial acknowledgement letter within 7 days of us receiving your complaint.

2. Once we have received any further information we may have requested from you, we will confirm in writing what will happen next in relation to the handling of your complaint.  You can expect to hear from us within 7 days of you providing the additional information we have requested.

3. We will then start to investigate your complaint.  The investigation is likely to involve one or more of the following steps:-

  • Reviewing your file;
  • Speaking with the member(s) of staff who have acted for you; and
  • If appropriate, liaising with you over the telephone or in writing in order to obtain further information or clarification.

4. Once we have completed our investigation, we will send you a detailed reply to your complaint.  This will include our suggestions for resolving the matter, where appropriate.  We normally expect to resolve complaints within 28 days of receipt.  If, for whatever reason, we believe the process may take longer, we will let you know.

5. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied with our response, you can write to us again.  We will then arrange to review our decision.  This will happen in one of the following ways:-

  • Mr Willis will review the decision himself; or
  • Mr Willis will arrange for someone else within the firm who has not previously been involved in your complaint to review it.

6. We will normally let you know the result of the review within 14 days of receipt of your further complaint.  If, for whatever reason, we believe the process may take longer, we will let you know.  Our written response to your further complaint will confirm our final position and explain our reasons. 

7. If you are unhappy with the outcome of our complaints procedure, you may be entitled to have your complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman, who investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers. The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are as follows:

Web: www.legalombudsman.org.uk  

Phone: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk  

Address: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH

8. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.  If you have, then you must normally take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint;


  • no later than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
  • no later than one year from the date when you should have realised that there was cause for complaint.

9. There are various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approved bodies which are competent to deal with complaints raised in relation to legal services, including ProMediate (https://www.promediate.co.uk). However, we do not currently agree to use the scheme operated by this or any other ADR body.

If we have to change any of the time-scales set out in our complaints procedure, we will let you know and explain why.