Complaints Procedure

Complaints can only be made by members of the Association about other members of the Association.

Procedure

  • When a written complaint is received by the Association, it will be sent to the Association’s Complaints Coordinator.
  • Letters will be sent to all relevant parties confirming receipt of the complaint, requesting further details or inviting a response.
  • Once further information has been received, the Association will respond with their views and decide on the complaint.
  • The decision will be ratified by an Officer of the Association.
  • Any decision will be final.

Details will be retained by the Association for a period of 5 years after which they will be destroyed. The 5 years runs from the final decision.  Details will be kept for monitoring and statistical purposes.

The Association needs to consider the best use of its resources and the fact that all members are volunteers and that there are organization that may be better able to deal with any complaints.  These organisations include; The Law Society, The Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Legal Ombudsman, Legal Aid Agency and the NHS Trusts and Hospitals that regulate matters arising on their premises. In addition, every firm will have their own complaints procedure.

It is the opinion of the MHLA that most complaints may be better addressed by these organisations and that as an Association we may direct members to those organisations as part of the decision-making process.  The MHLA reserves the right to enter into correspondence with these organisations, but will only do so if appropriate.

The MHLA will consider whether to take action against any member of the Association which may include suspending or expelling the member or firm from the Association.

The investigation of the complaint will be made by 3 members of the Committee.

Timescales

Complaint is received and letter sent to all parties: 14 days

Response from all parties: 14 days

Decision made: 28 days

July 2013