Davies Bays & Co trading as John Bays & Co (incorporating Windsor & Co)

Our Complaints Procedure

Davies Bays & Co is committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us resolve any mistakes or misunderstandings and to improve our standards. Please be assured that your complaint will be dealt with promptly, fairly and free of charge.

Initial concerns

In most cases, an informal conversation with the lawyer responsible for your matter will resolve your concerns. If it does not, you can formalise your complaint or speak to someone other than the lawyer responsible for your matter. Our complaints partner, John Bays (our senior partner), or Pam Janes, consultant solicitor can record everything you are unhappy about and recommend the best solution for you. You can contact Mr Bays at John Bays & Co., 240a High Road, Wood Green, London N22 8HH, telephone 020 8881 3609 or by email to law@johnbays.co.uk.

What we need to know

To deal with your complaint correctly, it would be helpful when contacting us if you could provide the following information:

•       Your name, contact details and preferred contact method
•       Details of your concerns
•       How you would like us to put things right.

What will happen next?

1.       If you telephone us, we will endeavour to resolve the issue in that call.

2.       If you email or write to us, or if your complaint cannot be resolved in a phone call, we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within three working days of receiving it.

We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve our Complaints partner, John Bays, reviewing your file and speaking to the member of staff who acted for you. However, where a complaint relates to the work of John Bays, it will be dealt with by Pam Janes or if that is not appropriate, by another partner.

3.       Within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter, our complaints partner will invite you to a meeting to discuss and resolve your complaint. You may choose to have the meeting in person, by telephone or by a video link, such as Teams.
4.       Within 3 days of the meeting or telephone or video link discussion, we will write to you to confirm what took place and any possible solutions agreed with you.

5.       In any case, you will be sent a detailed written reply to your complaint, including suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

6.       At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another partner, or Pam Janes, our consultant solicitor, to review the decision.

7.       We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons, including suggestions for resolving the matter.

8.       If we have to change any of the timescales referred to above, we will let you know and explain why.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

9.       If you have exhausted our internal complaints procedure but you are still not satisfied, or a period of eight weeks has expired since we acknowledged your complaint without our final response being received, you are entitled to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman will look at the complaint independently and any investigation by them will not affect how we handle your case.

10.       Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check:
       •      you have tried to resolve the complaint with us in the first instance and
       •      you have suffered significant financial loss, distress, inconvenience or detriment, which deems it proportionate for them to investigate.

We will always be happy to discuss your issues further, prior to going down this route, if you wish to do so.

11.       For complaints about our service, including billing issues, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman via one of the methods below:

Phone: 0300 555 0333
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Post: PO Box 6167 Slough SL1 0EH

12.       Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of the date of our final written response to your complaint. You should also be aware that the Ombudsman will consider your complaint if you refer it onto them within either of the following:
       •       one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about OR
       •       one year from the date when you should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint.       

The Ombudsman has discretion to extend the one year time limit for specific customers if, on the evidence, it is fair and reasonable to do so.

13.       Note that the Legal Ombudsman service cannot be used by businesses or most other organisations unless they are below certain size limits and further details are available from the website of the Legal Ombudsman at https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk.

14.       It is worth considering, whilst it is open to you to submit a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, that they apply strict criteria to determine whether they will ultimately accept a complaint for a full investigation. They have the discretion to dismiss or discontinue all or part of a complaint if they believe:

a)       it does not have any reasonable prospects of success;
b)       you have not suffered (and are unlikely to suffer) significant financial loss, distress, inconvenience or detriment;
c)       it is frivolous, vexatious, lacks merit or where there is a compelling reason not to accept it;
d)       the likely impact, size, complexity, scope, volume of evidence or your conduct render it disproportionate/unreasonable/impossible for the complaint to be investigated;
e)       You have previously complained about the same issue to them, unless you provide material evidence that is likely to affect the outcome which only became available to you after you submitted the original complaint; and
f)       there has been undue delay in the complaint being raised.

       Also note:
a)       If, during the course of an ongoing investigation by the Ombudsman, a revised/increased offer is made by us which is deemed to be fair and reasonable redress and you decide to reject that offer, the Ombudsman has the discretion to dismiss or discontinue all or part of your complaint.
b)       If you have already accepted an offer to settle your complaint made by us during our internal complaint handling process, which is deemed to be fair and reasonable redress, unless there has been some significant intervening act, you will not be able to have that agreement overturned in the hope of securing a preferential outcome by pursuing your complaint via the Ombudsman.

For more information on the Legal Ombudsman’s rules and requirements, please see their Scheme Rules dated April 2023: Scheme Rules.        

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

15.       The Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’) 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.
16.       Visit the ‘Reporting an individual or firm’ page of their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the SRA.

What to do if your complaint relates to an insurance policy

17.       If your unresolved complaint relates to an insurance policy covering your case, you may contact the Financial Ombudsman Service:

       •       Phone: 0800 023 4567
       •       Online complaint forms available via their website
       •       Email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
       •       Post: Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower. Harbour Exchange. London. E14 9SR.

What to do if your complaint remains unresolved

18.       If a complaint cannot be resolved, you may also be able to ask for it to be referred to a process of alternative dispute resolution using a certified provider. We are not required to agree to such a request. In any case this is not available to businesses, only consumers. We will give you more information about that right if it becomes relevant.