When you first meet with a lawyer you should be given a letter which explains how your lawyer will carry out work for you. You can expect to be given:

  1. the name of the lawyer, or other person, carrying out work for you,
  2. the name of any person who supervises their work,
  3. a summary of the information you gave to your lawyer and what you want your lawyer to do for you,
  4. a summary of your lawyer’s advice and the work your lawyer has agreed to carry out for you,
  5. notes of any action you need to take,
  6. an idea of the length of time it will take for your work to be carried out,
  7. an explanation of the way that the costs will be worked out,
  8. costs information should also explain:
  • how you will be charged, for example, a fixed fee or for the time the lawyer spends on each activity such as a meeting, letter or telephone call,
  • if there will be additional costs, for example, court fees or a fee for a report,
  • if VAT will be charged on top of costs,
  • if interest will be charged for late payment of costs,
  • if there will be an extra charge for paying with a credit card.

  You should be given the firm’s Complaints procedure. This will tell you how to complain and:

  1. explain that complaints should firstly be made to the Firm, 
  2. give the name of the person to contact about a complaint, 
  3. allow for reasonable ways for you to complain, for example, by email, telephone and letter, 
  4. state the number of days within which the Firm will let you know they have received your complaint, 
  5. state how long it will take for your complaint to be investigated and a decision sent to you, 
  6. explain that if your complaint is not resolved after 8 weeks, or if you are not satisfied with the decision, you can refer your complaint to:
    - the Legal Ombudsman, or
    - an Alternative Dispute Resolution provider,
  7. explain that there are time limits for complaining to the Legal Ombudsman (you should check the most up to date time limits with the Legal Ombudsman).  As at October 2015 a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within 6 months of receiving a decision from your Firm and within 6 years from the date of the problem, or 3 years from when you should have known about the problem,
  8. provide contact details for the Legal Ombudsman, which are: 
    Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk 
    Address: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
    Telephone 0300 555 0333
    Minicom call 0300 555 1777
    Email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk 
  9. provide the name and website address of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider and whether the Firm is prepared to use ADR,
  10. provide contact details for the Firm’s Regulator and timescales for complaining to them, 
  11. provide details of the Firm’s Professional Indemnity Insurance.