Marston Legal Services Limited Complaints Handling Procedure

Marston Legal Services Limited Complaints Handling Procedure

  1. This document sets out the procedure for dealing with client complaints at MLSL, whether in respect of alleged poor service or a disputed bill. It does not apply to third party complaints (for example, in respect of delay or alleged professional misconduct).
  2. Clients should feel free to raise complaints or any concerns in respect of any matter in which they instruct MLSL.
  3. Some clients may also be eligible to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (“LeO”) (see below); the client must generally first exhaust MLSL internal complaints procedure, as described in this document.
  4. Complaints made under this procedure should be made in writing to the Complaints Handler, by email at or by post to MLSL, Embassy House, 60 Church Street, Birmingham, B3 2DJ.
  5. As a minimum, written complaints must include the following information:
    • MLSL case reference number;
    • Full details of the names of the parties of the case;
    • The complainants name and contact details;
    • Status e.g. client or representative of the client; and
    • A full description of the complaint being made.

    The Complaints Handler may need to request further information or documents in order to consider the complaint

  6. The Complaints Handler will aim to acknowledge any complaint within 5 working days of receiving it. The acknowledgment will include the following:
    • Receipt of the complaint and confirmation that the complaint is being investigated;
    • Request for additional information or documents to assist with the investigation;
    • The anticipated timescale for dealing with the complaint:

      Stage 1 complaint: This will be 14 days to investigate and respond.
      Stage 2 complaint: This will be 28 days to investigate and respond.
      If a response within these timeframes is not possible, then an appropriate timescale is to be provided for responding to the complaint in full.

    • Details of the rights which the client may have, and the procedures which it should follow, to complain to external regulators such as LeO; and
    • A copy of this complaints handling procedure document.
  7. MLSL take complaints seriously and will investigate and fully respond to all complaints properly made to the Complaints Handler providing that the complaint is made within 12 months from the date of the problem occurring.
  8. LeO can address complaints only if made by a client. Usually complaints to LeO must be made within 6 years of the problem occurring, or 3 years from the date when the complainant should have known about the complaint. Please note that a complainant must follow and complete the firm’s complaints handling procedure. However, if a complaint has not been resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction within 8 weeks of it being made to the Complaints Handler then the complainant may, within 6 months after receiving the final written response to the complaint, ask LeO to review and consider the complaint. Please refer to the LeO website at, telephone 0300 555 0333, email or write to The Legal Ombudsman, P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ for details on the process and procedure.
  9. A client may apply to the courts for an assessment of a disputed bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974; please note that LeO may not be prepared to consider a complaint about a bill if the client has applied to the court for an assessment.
  10. Any person (whether a client or otherwise) may complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority about the alleged professional misconduct on the part of a solicitor. The procedure is detailed on the website
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