1. Who We Are
2. Who Will Deal With Your Matter?
3. What To Do If You Are Not Satisfied With Our Services
1. Who we are
Gray Hooper Holt LLP is a firm of solicitors registered in England and Wales under No. OC318445. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are subject to and comply with the provisions of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 (www.sra.org.uk/rules). One of the differences between us as an LLP and a traditional firm is that the principals in the firm are known as “Members” rather than “Partners”.
The Members are Robert Gray, Arthur Li, Jessica Webb and Hannah Woodham. The other Member of the LLP is Halewood Limited, a Limited Company recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and which is wholly in the ownership of Robert Gray.
The LLP’s registration number is OC318445 and its registered office is at 21 Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3TP. Details of the other personnel in the practice and our services are on our website: www.grayhooperholt.co.uk. Our VAT registration number is 869 3380 80.
2. Who will deal with your matter?
You will receive with these documents a letter from the fee earner dealing with your matter. That letter will introduce him or her to you and confirm your objectives in instructing us and our initial advice about how that can be achieved and within what timescale.
Your matter will remain with the same fee earner from start to finish unless it develops in such a way that it would be appropriate to pass the whole or part of it to another specialist in the practice, subject to your agreement. If the fee earner dealing with your matter is unavailable due to illness or holiday then a colleague will be available to assist. If the fee earner dealing with your matter leaves the firm temporarily or permanently for any reason then, subject to your agreement, your matter will be passed to an appropriate colleague.
The fee earner dealing with your matter will explain to you the issues raised and keep you informed of progress. It is he or she whom you should contact concerning your matter whether by telephone or in writing (including fax or email).
On most occasions we are happy to receive instructions over the telephone. However instructions to make or accept settlement offers or payment to another party must be confirmed in writing (either by letter, email or fax).
If you telephone and the fee earner dealing with the matter is not available then please leave your name, reference and telephone number and your call will be returned the same day if at all possible.
If however you need to speak to someone urgently then please ask to speak to Mr Gray or Mr Li who will attempt to deal with your query. If they are unable to deal with immediately (for instance due to the need to read the file) then they or another member of staff delegated by them and fully briefed will call you back.
3. What to do if you are not satisfied with the service provided by this firm
We are confident that we will provide a high quality service in all respects. If, however, you are dissatisfied with the service or advice provided (for instance because matters are not apparently proceeding smoothly or quickly or in accordance with previously agreed time limits or to meet your needs or because you are not being kept informed of progress) you should refer any complaint directly to Arthur Li. He is the firm’s Managing Member and has responsibility for dealing with all client care matters.
The procedure we adopt when dealing with a complaint is set out, in full, below.
Gray Hooper Holt LLP – Complaints Procedure
A. Complaint by way of a telephone call
If you telephone to voice concerns about our service then whoever takes the call will refer it to Mr Li. If he is available he will speak to you immediately to take details of your concerns and to agree with you what action he will take to investigate them. He will use his best endeavours to resolve the matter to your satisfaction immediately. If that is not possible then he will have to read the file and discuss the matter with the fee earner before coming back to you.
During the course of the initial telephone conversation he will let you know how long that is likely to take. He will also agree with you whether he should telephone you with his response and if appropriate proposals for rectifying matters or whether you would prefer him to write to you. In either case you will receive a response within seven days unless due to the fee earner’s extended absence it will be impossible to meet that deadline. If so the timetable for a response will be discussed with you during the initial call. If you call to make a complaint and Mr Li is not available he will return your call within twenty-four hours and will follow the procedure detailed above.
B. Written complaint
A written complaint may be made by way of a letter, fax or email. Any communication should be addressed directly to Mr Li. If any written complaint is received by another member of staff then it will be referred to Mr Li immediately.
Mr Li will review your written complaint, read the file and discuss the matter with the fee earner and let you have his written response, including any proposals for remedial action with seven days.
If the fee earner is unavailable for an extended period due to absence from the office, on holiday or for other reasons then Mr Li may not be able to respond within seven days. If not he will contact you to let you know how long it will be before he is able to respond in detail. He may at that stage have to write to you for further information prior to discussing the matter with the fee earner concerned.
We trust that you appreciate that in connection with both telephone and written complaints it would be inappropriate for Mr Li to respond in detail without first reading the file and discussing the matter with the fee earner.
C. Review of your complaint
If you are not satisfied with the explanation and suggestions for remedial action made by Mr Li then you may come back to him with your further comments and suggestions as to how you feel the matter should be resolved. If having done so you are still not satisfied then the following courses of action are open to you.
I. You have the right to bring your complaint to the attention of the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted by post at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. The telephone number is 0300 555 0333 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details of the powers of the Legal Ombudsman to investigate complaints and to oblige us to provide remedies to satisfy complaints can be found on the website www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Available on the same website is a downloadable leaflet entitled “What To Do If You Have A Complaint”.
Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within 6 years of the date of our last work for you or 3 years from the date on which you first realised that there was a concern. However, please note that from 1 April 2023 these time limits are changing. From the 1 April the Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within a year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within a year of you realising there was a concern. The requirement to refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you remains the same.
The Legal Ombudsman recommends that you attempt to resolve any concern with us first. If you do so and we fail to deal with your complaint within 8 weeks you may complain direct to the Legal Ombudsman provided that, in normal circumstances, you contact them within 6 months of our last contact with you in connection with the complaint.
Any remedial action which Mr Li suggests may include asking the fee earner to take a certain course of action in respect of your matter to ensure that it is progressed smoothly or, with your consent, transferring the file to another fee earner. In either case all action subsequently taken will be closely supervised by Mr Gray. Remedial action may also include offering to remit the whole or part of the bill or to make a payment of the nature that the Legal Ombudsman could order (as to which see their website referred to above).
II. You have the right to instruct other solicitors to take over the conduct of the matter subject to the payment of any outstanding charges and disbursements. If you are not immediately able to pay the charges and disbursements then we may be prepared to accept an undertaking from your “new” solicitors to preserve a lien for costs and disbursements due from you.
III. If you allege that a member of our staff has been negligent and that you have suffered a loss then you should seek independent legal advice. If any such allegations are made or a claim intimated against this firm it will immediately be referred to our professional indemnity insurers who are identified in our terms of business letter.
IV. Your right to complain includes the entitlement to complain about this firm’s bill. In that respect you have the right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. This right is recorded and reiterated on the reverse of the bill or on the note attached to the bill. Please note the time limits referred to therein.
V. The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our bahviour. This could be things like alleged dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You will note that our website confirms that we are voluntary signatories of The Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter. Visit the SRA website to see how you can raise your concerns with them - www.sra.org.uk.
We hope that you will not have occasion to make a complaint but if you do so we would prefer that you notify Mr Li immediately when the problem arises.
It is our experience that most complaints arise from misunderstandings rather than from any failure to carry out work or a client’s instructions efficiently. If any problem is dealt with promptly then we are confident that the good relationship which should exist between a solicitor and a client can be maintained. We hope that our service will be sufficiently good for you to wish to recommend us to your friends, relations and colleagues.
You will receive with this letter separate letters concerning our terms of business and our costs. You will be asked to sign and date and return to us a form confirming that you have received these letters and that you agree to our terms and conditions overall. These documents are important in that they record the terms of the agreement (ie, the contract between us) and define the services we provide, how we provide them and the cost of providing them to you. Accordingly, if anything in this or those documents is not clear please contact the fee earner acting for you or the firm’s managing member, Mr Li.