The following information summarises how we handle complaints relating to activities that are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’) and other legal services falling within the remit of the Legal Ombudsman.
What is a complaint?
The SRA and the Legal Ombudsman define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction (oral or written) which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer):
What is an SRA regulated activity?
KPMG LLP is a multi-disciplinary practice authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). An SRA regulated activity is a service delivered by KPMG LLP to a client that is regulated by the SRA. Where we deliver services to a client which are regulated by the SRA, we will inform that client in writing identifying the specific services which are subject to regulation by the SRA and the implications of such regulation.
Information on the regulations of the SRA and the SRA’s Code of Conduct can be found at www.sra.org.uk. A multi-disciplinary practice is a body licensed by the SRA under Part 5 of the Legal Services Act 2007 which provides a range of different services, only some of which are regulated by the SRA. The SRA’s policy in respect of multi-disciplinary practices can be found here.
What legal services fall within the remit of the Legal Ombudsman?
The Legal Ombudsman may consider complaints in respect of SRA regulated activities. Further, as KPMG LLP is a multi-disciplinary practice authorised and regulated by the SRA, the Legal Ombudsman has the remit to consider complaints in respect of other services delivered by KPMG LLP that are not SRA regulated activities but which the Legal Ombudsman considers to be legal services. Further guidance on this, can be found at http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Who should a complaint be addressed to?
We ask that in the first instance you address your complaint to the partner at KPMG LLP who handles your affairs. Should you prefer to, you can alternatively address:
(i) complaints relating to SRA regulated activities to:
Gary Harley, Head of Indirect Tax & Legal Services, KPMG LLP, 15 Canada Square, London E14 5GL (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Vanessa Sharp, Compliance Office for Legal Practice, KPMG LLP, 15 Canada Square, London E14 5GL (Email: email@example.com).
(ii) any other complaints to:
David Matthews, Head of Quality and Risk Management, KPMG LLP, 15 Canada Square, London E14 5GL (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Investigation of complaints
Where a complaint is received, we will investigate it. We aim to deal with complaints promptly, fairly, openly and effectively to determine whether it should be upheld and, if so, what remedial action or redress may be appropriate. We shall seek to resolve complaints at the earliest opportunity with the aim of doing so within 8 weeks of receipt.
Timescale for initially responding to complaints
We will acknowledge your complaint promptly (generally within 5 business days) in writing, and will include written details of our complaints handling procedures. Where we are able to provide a final response immediately, the acknowledgement may be combined with the final response. You will be kept informed of the progress of the investigation.
Final or other response within 8 weeks
Within 8 weeks of receipt of a complaint, we will either send:
(i) a final response which upholds the complaint and, where appropriate, offers redress or rejects the complaint and gives reasons for doing so; or
(ii) a response explaining that we are not in a position to make a final response, giving reasons for the delay and indicating when we expect to be able to provide a final response.
Our response detailed above will inform you that, if you are still not satisfied, you may be entitled to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman and will provide full contact details for the Legal Ombudsman and a warning that the complaint must be referred to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the date of our written response.
Referring complaints to the Legal Ombudsman and Court of Assessment
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted by telephone on 0300 555 0333, by email: email@example.com; or by writing to PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Typically, the Legal Ombudsman will only consider complaints if you have first used our complaints procedure. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman must normally be referred within 6 months of the date of our final written response in respect of the complaint and complaints should be referred no later than 6 years from the act or omission which is the subject of the complaint or 3 years from when you should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint , Please note that the Legal Ombudsman’s service will only accept complaints from members of the public and certain small businesses, charities, clubs, associations and trusts. Further details on referral of complaints to the Legal Ombudsman can be found at http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
Complaints regarding bills
You may also have the right to apply to the court for an assessment of a bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Please note that if all or part of a bill remains unpaid we may be entitled to charge interest. The Legal Ombudsman may not deal with a complaint about a bill if the client has applied to the court for assessment of that bill.