Complaints and SRA Standards & Regulations (and Codes)
At Blacks Solicitors LLP our primary objective is the delivery of a quality service to all our clients.
As a law firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), we strive to provide our clients with a professional service, which includes dealing effectively with any complaints or concerns that you may have.
If you believe that our service has fallen short of these standards, please let us know. We can investigate the matter and take any appropriate action, and hopefully we can resolve your complaint or deal with your concerns.
If you are a client of Blacks and have concerns over how your matter is being dealt with, or over the service which you are receiving, please do raise this in the first instance with the person who has day‑to‑day responsibility for your matter, or with the Partner in charge of the file (normally the supervisor named in your ‘engagement’ or ‘welcome’ letter).
Please provide them with full details of your concerns over the telephone, in writing, or at a meeting (if appropriate).
A note will be taken of the issues raised, which will be investigated with a view to resolving the matter to your satisfaction.
Our experience is that this process resolves most concerns and matters successfully and effectively, without the need for any further action to be taken.
We are keen to strengthen our working relationships and feedback is always appreciated.
Formal Client Complaints
If we are unable to resolve your concerns to your satisfaction via the team dealing with the matter, you should raise a formal complaint which will be dealt with and investigated by our dedicated Complaints Team.
If you wish to raise a formal complaint, please email full details to Complaints@LawBlacks.com, or alternatively write to us at:
Blacks Solicitors LLP
29 King Street
Our Complaints Procedure provides that:
- We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days following the date of receipt of your complaint at these offices.
- We will then investigate your complaint (including discussing the matter with the appropriate personnel who have handled the file, and reviewing the documentation on file), and provide you with a formal response to your complaint. Usually this will be within 14 working days following the date of receipt of your complaint.
- If for any reason it is not possible to complete our investigation and provide the response within this period, we will advise you of this and provide a revised date for the formal response. On occasion, where a matter is very complex, we may need a longer period to complete our investigations into your complaint, but we will always strive to provide you with our response as soon as possible.
- During the course of our investigation, and in order to assist in resolving your complaint, we may arrange to meet with you or speak on the phone. It is important that we investigate your concerns thoroughly and take any necessary remedial action promptly. Our experience is that meeting or speaking with you can often assist with the process.
- Hopefully our formal response will address your issues and conclude your complaint. If you are not satisfied with our formal response, you can ask that the matter is escalated for a final review. Please provide any such request for escalation within 35 days of our formal response, otherwise we will close our file.
- On escalation, the complaint will be reviewed independently by the Firm’s Head of Compliance or by a Partner of the Firm. Our Final Response to your complaint will then be issued to you. This Final Response will be provided within 14 working days from the date of receipt of your request for escalation. If we do not hear back from you within 28 days of our Final Response, we reserve the right to deem your complaint concluded and to close our file internally.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. However, we have chosen not to adopt an ADR process.
Accordingly, if you are not satisfied with our Final Response and any remedial action being taken or proposed, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman service.
Before considering your complaint, the Legal Ombudsman will check with you that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.
The Legal Ombudsman service is only available to individuals, members of the public, prospective clients, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts.
Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must be made within certain time limits (specifically, within six months from the date of our Final Response).
If you are unsure as to whether the Legal Ombudsman can assist you with your complaint, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman service at:
We keep a central record of all complaints received including details of the nature of the complaint and the outcome of our investigation.
Paul Kelly (Partner and the Firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice) has overall responsibility for complaints, which are delegated day‑to‑day to our dedicated Complaints Team.
If you are not a client of Blacks Solicitors LLP but have a complaint to make where Blacks are acting for another party in the transaction or matter, your appropriate course of action is to raise your concerns with your appointed legal representative.
Please note that under our professional rules we are not allowed to deal with you directly in cases where you have a legal representative already acting on your behalf.
If you are not a client of Blacks Solicitors LLP but wish to raise a complaint and you are not using your own solicitors, we will only be able to consider your complaint if you are alleging that Blacks have acted in breach of any of the principles or outcomes provided for in the SRA Standards and Regulations.
If you believe that is the case, please send your complaint including full details of the alleged breaches by way of email to Complaints@LawBlacks.com, or by post to:
Blacks Solicitors LLP
29 King Street
We will then contact you to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence and investigate the matters raised.
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
If you are concerned that our behaviour has been inappropriate in some way, or is in breach of the principles or outcomes provided for in the SRA’s Standards and Regulations, the SRA may be able to help.
Visit https://www.sra.org.uk/ to see how you can raise your concerns with the SRA or call them on 0370 606 2555. You can also contact the SRA by post at the following address:
Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN
We will not charge you for handling your complaint.
Blacks Solicitors LLP
16 December 2021