Complaints Handling

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service and to dealing with all our clients fairly. We acknowledge that we may not always get it right so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to the bill, we need you to tell us.

Stage 1

If you wish to make a complaint, you should first contact us either in writing (by letter, fax or email) or by speaking with our Complaints Managers.  We have two Complaints Managers, their contact details are:

HCB CompanyBranchComplaints Manager
HCB Solicitors Ltd - MidlandsAlcester
Sutton Coldfield
James Paradeda – Practice Manager
0161 790 1411

HCB Solicitors Ltd - North

(Formerly HCB Berry & Berry Ltd)

James Paradeda – Practice Manager
0161 790 1411

HCB Solicitors Ltd – South & East

(Formerly HCB Park Woodfine LLP)

Lindsay Carter – Practice Manager
01234 400 000
HCB Widdows Mason LtdAberdare
James Paradeda – Practice Manager
0161 790 1411

HCB Legal Limited

(Formerly HCB Kent Limited)

Birmingham, Newall St.
Tunbridge Wells

Lindsay Carter – Practice Manager
01234 400 000

To help us to understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:

a) your full name and contact details

b) what you think we have got wrong

c) what you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint, and

d) your file reference number (if you have it)

If you require any help in making your complaint we will try to help you.

Stage 2

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, enclosing a copy of this policy and informing you of the name of the person who is dealing with your complaint. The firm takes any form of complaint very seriously and as a result of our ongoing commitment to ensuring good client care and quality of service, we outsource stage 2 of our complaints procedure to an Independent Complaints Handler. Depending on the nature of the complaint, we may first refer  your complaint to a Director or Head of Department, who may be able offer redress without further escalation. If they are unable to resolve your complaint, they will refer it to the Independent Complaints Handler. We believe that this is in the interest of our clients as it allows us to obtain an independent view on any complaints and also constructive feedback on how our services can be improved. We will record your complaint in our central register which is reviewed regularly by the Management Board.

Stage 3

The person investigating the complaint will have full access to all the information and personnel that they require to investigate your complaint properly. They may contact you directly to discuss and confirm your heads of complaints and request any further information from you to assist the investigation.

We will ask the person investigating the complaint to recommend the action which they believe would be recommended by the Legal Ombudsman if the complaint was referred to them.

Stage 4

The person investigating your complaint will provide you with a detailed assessment report together with their recommendations to resolve the complaint, if any. A copy of which will be first forwarded to a Director or Practice Manager for review. We will generally follow the recommendations made but if we think they are not appropriate we will explain our reasons to you.

We have 8 weeks from the date we receive your complaint  to fully investigate and provide our final response to you. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will contact you to explain our reasons why.

You will not be charged for our time spent dealing with a complaint internally.

Stage 5

If we are unable to resolve your complaint, then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers. The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.

You can contact the Legal Ombudsman by one of the following methods:

The Legal Ombudsman service is only available to members of the public, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. If you are unclear about your position, then you should contact the Legal Ombudsman direct to clarify whether or not they can deal with your complaint. Alternatively, please refer to the Legal Ombudsman’s scheme rules which are available by clicking on the following link:

Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate ( exist, which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. HCB Solicitors does not agree to use ProMediate as we prefer the Legal Ombudsman’s clear adjudication process.

Complaints About Fees

If you are dissatisfied with our bill, you have the right to apply to the High Court for an assessment of our charges by an Officer of the Court under ss. 70, 71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974. We hope that before making such an application you would first use our complaints procedure explained above.

Complaints either regarding or about our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority:-