Complaints procedure Legaltree
Version: 17 May 2021
- Complaint: a written expression of dissatisfaction, notified as such by the client or its representative to a partner associated with Legaltree;
- Complainant: the client or its representative who lodges a complaint;
- Complaints officer: a partner designated by the firm who is charged with the registration, settlement and analysis of the complaints lodged;
- Legaltree complaints procedure: the subject procedure;
- Partner: an attorney-at-law or civil-law notary associated with Legaltree.
The objective of the Legaltree complaints procedure is:
- the laying down of a procedure for the purpose of responding to complaints of clients in a constructive manner within as short a period as possible;
- the laying down of a procedure for the purpose of determining the causes of clients’ complaints;
- the maintenance and improvement of existing relations by mans of proper handling of complaints;
- advising the partners associated with Legaltree on client-focused response to complaints;
- improvement of the quality or the services with the aid of handling of complaints and complaints analyses.
3. THE PROCEDURE
- The partner associated with Legaltree shall inform the client that the firm observes a complaints procedure. This procedure is stated expressly in the applicable general terms and conditions.
- A client may lodge a complaint about the behaviour of the partner handling the case (the ‘partner’). The complaint shall be submitted in writing or by e-mail to the partner or otherwise – at the discretion of the client – to the Legaltree complaints officer. The partner, or as the case may be, the complaints officer, shall confirm the receipt of the complaint within two working days and shall thereby provide information to the complainant about the internal complaints procedure. In the case the complaint is lodged directly, the complaints officer shall inform the partner involved of the complaint.
- The partner involved and the complaints officer shall determine in mutual consultation who is to seek contact with the complainant involved and of the manner in which the complaint is to be further discussed and settled with the complainant. The starting point at all times shall be that the complainant is satisfied and a solution has been created.
- In the event pursuant to the preceding paragraph the complaints officer has sought contact with the complainant involved, he/she shall provide the complainant the opportunity, after having studied the file, to explain the complaint orally or in writing. The partner shall be requested to react to this explanation.
- In the event a meeting should take place between the complaints officer and the client, the partner shall be present at the request of the complaints officer or the client, except in the case the client should object to this.
- The complaints officer shall respond to the complaint at the latest 10 working days after receipt of the complaint, or otherwise, if appropriate, 10 working days after receipt of the written explanation, or, if appropriate, at the latest 10 working days after a meeting regarding the complaint has taken place.
- The settlement of the complaint shall take place in writing, within a period of one month, whereby separate aspects shall be separately answered and substantiated. Hereby, reference is also made to the external complaints procedure(s) (see under 11).
- The partner involved or otherwise the complaints officer shall be responsible for preparing a precise, written record of the arrangements made with the complainant.
- The arrangements made with the complainant shall be recorded precisely and in writing also in the case the complaint has been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.
- In the case the handling of the complaint should not lead to a solution, the parties involved shall put the complaint before the Dean of the National Bar Association of the district in which the partner is established.
- To the extent that a complaint concerns the acts or omissions of a lawyer who is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (LSA), those involved may, after having gone through the internal complaints procedure of Legaltree, submit the case to the LSA Ombudsman in order to be resolved by mediation. If the dispute concerns a fee statement, it may be submitted to the LSA Resolution of Legal Fee Disputes Committee, which will decide by means of a binding advice (www.lsa.nl).
4. REGISTRATION OF THE COMPLAINT
- A copy of the written settlement of the complaint shall be retained for 1 year.
- In the event of a personal injury case, the complaints officer will, if so desired, make these copies available to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (LSA).
- The complaints officer shall report annually to the partners associated with Legaltree. The complaints officer shall, in the case there is reason thereto, make recommendations to the partners associated with Legaltree.
5. APPOINTMENT OF COMPLAINTS OFFICER
- The complaints officer appointed by the partners associated with Legaltree is Carolien van Weering.
- Complaints against the complaints officer will be heard by a person taking the place of that officer, who must be a partner at Legaltree.