Providing legal services to the people and businesses of Brentwood since 1850

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 improve our standards.

Our Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint, please initially contact the fee earner dealing with your matter.  It is important that the fee earner dealing with your matter understands that a complaint is being made and is given the chance to respond in order to resolve the issue.

If that fee earner has not been able to resolve matters then please contact Jessie Stewart with the details.

Jessie will then inform the fee earner of the complaint and request for the file to be passed to her for review.

What will happen next?

1.      Jessie Stewart will acknowledge your complaint in writing. Jessie may ask you to confirm, expand on or explain the details set out in the correspondence to date if necessary.

Jessie Stewart will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint (which may well be herself) and what the next steps in this respect will be. You can expect to receive our acknowledgement within 2 days of us receiving your complaint.

2.      We will then start to investigate your complaint. Depending on the nature of the complaint Jessie Stewart will;

  • Deal with any urgent or outstanding work as a matter of priority on your matter should this so be your instruction;
  • Telephone you, meet with you or confirm in writing the next steps of both the legal matter and the complaint itself should you wish to take this further;
  • Importantly, upon receiving your complaint Jessie Stewart will in any case internally examine all information in the file;

3.      Jessie Stewart will review your complaint and respond in writing in respect of the above, explaining any internal changes, where relevant send an apology to the client with a clear route as to how we will make the situation right, a proposed route forward in terms of your instruction and details of how to take the complaint forward should this be necessary. This will be within 5 days of receiving the initial complaint itself.

4.      If upon receiving our letter you wish to take the matter further, upon receiving your instruction to do so, Jessie Stewart may then either in writing invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint or again respond in writing to you further points raised. Should the matter require a meeting, Jessie Stewart may also invite you to a meeting at Landons in order to resolve your complaint in the appropriate circumstances. Contact will come from Jessie Stewart in this respect within 14 days of receiving your letter.

5.      At this stage, if you are still not satisfied please contact us again in writing.  We will then arrange to review Jessie Stewart’s conclusions.  This will happen in one of the following ways-

  • Jessie Stewart may review the whole of the matter from beginning to end with another Director, the response coming from them both;
  • Another Director of the firm may review Jessie Stewart’s conclusions within 10 days independently, the response coming from the other Director;
  • Another Director may invite you in writing to agree a second meeting which may include independent mediation;

The further review will reach a conclusion which will be communicated to you within 14 days of receiving your letter.

6.      At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.  

We will also give you the name and address of The Legal Ombudsman (which is contained in our Client Care Letter to you).  If you are still not satisfied, you can contact them about your complaint.

Please be aware that any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of your having received a final written response from us about your complaint. 

If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.


1. Complaint in (day 1)

2. Acknowledgement (day 2)

3. Investigation

4. Review and letter out (day 5)

5. Confirmation to take complaint further in (day X)

6. Review/meeting/letter out (day X + 14)

7. Confirmation that unhappy with response (day Y)

8. Another Director review and letter out confirming final response and informing client of Legal Ombudsman (day Y + 14)

Potential outcomes for the fee earner involved:

The fee earner will always be informed of a complaint verbally and/or in writing.

A file will always be created for a complaint and notes made throughout the complaint process.

The fee earner will be provided with the acknowledgement response sent to the clients with the next steps to be taken.

Should the client wish to proceed with the matter further the investigation will be undertaken, the results will be communicated to the fee earner in writing.

In the event that the fee earner’s actions are considered unreasonable, depending on the severity of the situation;

  • a letter may be sent to the fee earner explaining that their conduct should be revised;
  • a meeting may be arranged with the fee earner to discuss their conduct and it may be necessary to follow up this meeting with a letter of warning
  • disciplinary action may be considered and taken to include;
    • the issuing of a first warning
    • the issuing of a first and final warning
    • the issuing of a second warning (where applicable)
    • dismissal if serious misconduct has arisen