Complaints can only be made by members of the Association about the Association itself or any of its members.
- At the beginning of each new committee year, the Committee shall designate the Complaints Coordinator and a rota for the Complaints sub-committee, the latter comprising of two different committee members to investigate each complaint.
- 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 and the complaint investigated, the Association will respond with their views and decide on the action to be taken.
- The decision will be ratified by an Officer of the Association.
- Any decision will be final.
Details of complaints will be retained by the Association for a period of 5 years after which they will be destroyed. The 5 years runs from the date of 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. Members of the Association will be reminded that every firm will have their own complaints procedure. The Association’s Complaints Policy is the last resort and will consider complaints with a view to referring to other organisations that may be better able to deal with any complaint such as 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.
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 may take action against any member of the Association which may include suspending or expelling the member or firm from the Association.
Complaint is received and letter sent to all parties: 14 days
Response from all parties: 14 days
Decision made: 28 days