Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all of our clients. Our definition of a ‘complaint’ is any expression of dissatisfaction – so when something is wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to continually monitor and improve our standards.  This also includes complaints about your Bill.

Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details. In the first instance, this should be to our Practice Manager, Sam Mellor, either by email to: or by letter to our Huddersfield office, at 6/8 New North Parade, HD1 5JP. Your complaint will be recorded in our central register, a separate file opened and the progress of the complaint monitored throughout. Please also send your email to (a Director of the business)

What will happen next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure and we will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can normally expect to receive our letter within five working days of us receiving your complaint.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will usually involve passing your complaint to David Wells, our compliance and client care partner, within 5 working days. (In his absence, this may have to be extended accordingly). He will investigate the complaint with the member of staff who acted for you and make an initial response within a further 10 working days.
  3. Mr Wells may then invite you to a meeting to discuss and, hopefully, resolve your complaint. If necessary, he will do this within a further 3 working days.
  4. Within 5 working days of any meeting, Mr Wells will write to you to confirm what took place and the solutions he has agreed with you.
  5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not appropriate, Mr Wells will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter and he will do this within 5 working days of completing the investigation or within 25 working days of sending the acknowledgement, whichever is the sooner.
  6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This will happen in one of the following ways:
    • Another partner of the firm will review David Wells’ decision, within 5 working days;
    • We can ask our local Law Society or another firm of Solicitors to review your complaint, within 5 working days. We will let you know how long this process will take;
    • We will invite you to agree to independent mediation, within 5 working days. We will also let you know how long this process will take.
  7. We will inform you of the result of any review, within 5 working days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons for it.
  8. If still unresolved at this stage, you may take the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) or, in accordance with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations, to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Scheme Provider. We will issue a final letter advising you of this.


The Legal Ombudsman is the independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007, to deal with complaints against Solicitors.

The Legal Ombudsman may:

Before it will consider a complaint, the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the firm’s internal Complaints Procedure (outlined above) has been exhausted. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that the firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further. You will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission, giving rise to the complaint. Alternatively, 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman’s address and contact details are:

PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ;
telephone, 0300 555 0333;


The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help you 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.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation


Alternative complaints bodies (such as Ombudsman Services ) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.

However, we don’t currently agree to use this Alternative Dispute Resolution service in view of the availability of the independent Legal Ombudsman Service established under the Legal Services Act 2007.  We are bound by our Regulatory Code to comply with the Legal Ombudsman.


If we are unable to resolve your complaint which relates to a contract entered into online, you may contact the Online Dispute Resolution providers by accessing the following link

Ian Holmes and David Wells are the STEP accredited Solicitors for Bailey Smailes

David Wells and Lucy Cortis are the SFE accredited Solicitors for Bailey Smailes