Our Complaints Procedure

Last updated 1 Feb, 2024.

Scope of this policy

High-quality service and long-lasting relationships with clients are at the core of our work here at Barnes Law. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided, you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint or do not want to communicate with your usual contact, you should refer your complaint to Yulia Barnes, our Managing Partner. From then onwards, we will review and deal with your complaint as follows:

  • We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 business days and provide a
    comprehensive response a maximum of 10 business days after acknowledging your complaint.
  • If the matter is complex or we need more time to look into your issue, we may need to take additional time to review, which we will inform you about. You can help us in this by providing detailed and clear information about how our service did not meet your expectations and what we can do to resolve the issue.
  • We will aim to resolve your issue within 8 weeks of receiving your initial formal complaint. You should not contact the Legal Ombudsman within that period (see below).
  • In dealing with your complaint, we will investigate internally to determine what could have contributed to your dissatisfaction and implement changes to ensure that it does not happen again. If upheld, we will offer an explanation and an apology, along with, in limited cases, a fee reduction or waiver.
  • Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case, and you will not be charged for time spent handling your complaint.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman may be able to help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at complaints independently, and accessing the Ombudsman will not affect how we handle your case. Most ‘consumer’ clients (as opposed to large businesses) will be able to make use of the Ombudsman scheme (however, there are restrictions for some larger clients). Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first (see above). If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
  • Either no more than one year from the date of act/omission being complained about; or
  • No later than one year from when you should have realised there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them:

Please note that the Ombudsman is there to deal with concerns about the level of service received.  Where there are more serious concerns that a solicitor or solicitor’s firm have been involved in professional misconduct, reports can also be made to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the regulator of solicitors and solicitor firms. This could be for quite unusual and serious acts of misconduct such as dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. Obviously, we do not anticipate any such problems arising and would ask that you notify the matter supervisor straight away if you have any such concerns. You can find out more about the Solicitors Regulation Authority including their contact details and professional conduct rules on their website: www.sra.org.uk.