Client Care Statement
Potter Rees Dolan is committed to delivering excellent client service and client care. Our client care policy describes what this commitment means in practice and what you can expect from us. We will endeavour to adhere to the principle of putting you, the client first, thereby ensuring that service excellence is an integral part of the planning and delivery of all service to our clients.
Our Client Care Policy below describes what this commitment means, and this statement tells you exactly what you can expect from us:
- We will always try to provide you with a high quality, professional service
- We will always act in a respectful and courteous manner
- We will always treat you fairly
- We will always be honest and open in our advice and dealings with your matter
- We will give you clear, unambiguous legal advice
- We will do our best to achieve the very best results for you
- We will be open and honest with you about your chances of success
- We will be clear and open with you about costs
- We will represent your best interests and always act with integrity
- We will use plain English and explain any legal terms to you
- We will act in accordance with the Solicitors Code of Conduct and other relevant regulatory and legal requirements
Client Care Letter
After you have instructed us to take on your case you will receive a Client Care Letter and Terms of Business that fully explains the level of service you can expect to receive.In addition, we will name the person responsible for your matter, their position within the practice and their qualifications. The client care letter will give the name of the supervisor responsible for your matter, and the name of the person responsible for dealing with any complaints.
Feedback and Testimonials
In order that we can continually improve our service, we actively encourage and value feedback from you, whether positive or negative. We will use various methods to elicit feedback, including ongoing client satisfaction surveys and post-matter questionnaires. In addition, we monitor and evaluate client complaints to identify and address shortcomings in our standard of service. Such feedback is essential to continually gauge client perception of our service delivery and identify your priorities from our handling of your matter.
CLIENT CARE POLICY
Potter Rees Dolan Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In running its business and providing services to clients this firm abides by the mandatory principles set out in the SRA Handbook. These principles relate to everything we do but specifically in formulating this client care policy we must:
- Act in the best interests of each of our clients.
- Provide a proper standard of service to our clients.
- Behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in us and in the provision of legal services.
Purpose and scope
The overall purpose of this policy is to demonstrate compliance with the SRA principles and to provide clear guidance to our clients and prospective clients as to how we work and the standard of service that we strive to offer. Every member of our staff and all consultants providing services on behalf of this firm are trained on and are required to act in accordance with this client care policy.
To remain specialist, we will only offer and provide services in the field of Serious Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence. Clients who have suffered such life changing injuries often need additional and complimentary services in connection with these matters. We offer specialist services in fields of law such as Court of Protection (Deputyship), Welfare benefits, Trusts, LPA’s and Probate to our existing clients. We also have an external network of practising solicitors who specialise in other areas of law such as conveyancing, family and employment who can either provide consultancy services to this firm to enable us to better advise our clients or who can, with our client’s consent, provide services directly to our clients. We will always advise our clients if we are obtaining advice for them from another firm of solicitors and we will only introduce clients to alternative firms with our client’s consent.
Experts in our Field
In order to provide specialist services our legal advisers must be more than competent in their field; they must be experts. We will only provide our legal services through individuals who hold the appropriate qualification and/or have substantial experience in advising on Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Court of Protection, Private Client and Welfare Benefits law. All our Lead Fee Earners will be qualified solicitors or Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives with a minimum of ten years’ experience in managing more serious personal injury or clinical negligence matters. Assistant fee earners will all be qualified solicitors or paralegals who have at least three years’ experience in personal injury and clinical negligence. Our staff regularly undertake training to ensure they are fully up to date with current law, innovations and developments. A number of our fee earners are also Solicitor Advocates with extensive expertise in representing clients in a Court of Law.
We are fully committed to providing a professional service to clients and prospective clients of our firm. We will act with integrity at all times and our clients and prospective clients will be treated with courtesy and respect in their dealings with us. We understand the dynamic of our client base, many of whom have experienced life changing injuries, often resulting in disabilities which affect their whole way of life, as well as that of their families. We will at all times comply with the principles of the Equality Act 2010 and our own Equality and Diversity Policy. We will always act in a manner that is professional and courteous when dealing with third parties, including solicitors acting for our client’s opponents, courts and other bodies and at all times act in a manner which befits a firm of solicitors.
We will be open about costs in all our dealings with clients. We will advise our clients of the likely costs in connection with the matter for which we are instructed and will keep our costs estimate under review. All communication on costs with our clients will be in writing. We will provide as detailed cost information as possible in our initial client care letter, terms of business and at appropriate times when advising and updating clients in respect of the progress of their matter. We will answer client’s questions about likely costs as accurately and honestly as we can and will consider all options for funding with our clients. Where clients have an insurance policy which covers personal injury or clinical negligence law work, we will advise them of their option to utilise this policy. When considering costs, we will have regard not only to the time spent on the matter in question but also the likely outcome for clients and will be open and honest with clients as to the value of using our services. We will explore with our client’s alternative options for funding claims or receiving assistance elsewhere when it is in their best interest to do so.
We strive to make our service accessible to anyone who may need them, and we will at all times operate in accordance with our Equality and Diversity Policy. We will offer services through a range of means including hospital visits, home visits, communication by email, Skype or on the telephone. We will make best use of technology to ensure that our services are as accessible as possible to those who need them.
We will ensure that our offices are accessible to people with a physical disability or limited mobility. We will do our best to make our services available to clients with visual impairments or restricted hearing and will consider what adjustments are needed to enable clients to give instructions and receive advice.
We will ensure that our services are accessible to all people regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background. Where there are language considerations, we will arrange for an interpreter or we will invite clients to be accompanied by a friend or relative who can act as an interpreter. We also strive to make our service accessible in terms of its delivery. We will offer appointments as quickly as possible and will respond promptly to all written communication and telephone messages.
Wherever possible we will advise clients of the likely timescale of dealing with their matter and will do our best to adhere to reasonable time limits and deadlines set by clients. Where there are legal time limits and limitation periods to be considered we will only take on a matter if we are able to comply with the necessary legal deadline.
Our service must be accessible to all regardless of their level of understanding of the law and legal systems. To this end we will explain our advice in plain English, avoiding use of jargon, legal terminology and unnecessary reference to legislation or case headings.
We always aim to ensure that all clients are treated fairly. We understand that all our client’s needs are unique, this means not only applying our policies to enable clients and prospective clients to be treated equally and to have equal access to our services, but also considering the individual requirements of our clients. We regard ourselves as a firm driven by our clients requirements and we will do our very best to ensure that the service that we provide best suits our individual client’s needs, provides them with the best possible outcome for their own situation and is handled in a manner and by an adviser that is experienced in the type of matter that we are dealing with.
In dealing with clients and their matters we will at all times maintain confidentiality. This means that we will not, without our client’s specific consent, disclose the fact that they have approached the firm or retained us to deal with any matter. We will not reveal to any outsider the nature of the instructions provided by our client other than in the pursuit of our client’s instructions. We will at all times operate practices within our offices to ensure that client’s matters are kept confidential and files and details of cases are restricted from public view.
We will make our complaints procedure known to clients from the outset by including it on our website and explaining it at the commencement of the retainer. Where a client is in any way dissatisfied with our service, we will encourage them to utilise the procedure and will investigate complaints promptly and in line with our procedure.
Hugh Potter has responsibility for implementing this policy and monitoring compliance. This policy will be assessed annually as part of Potter Rees Dolan’s review of client care.