Zen Law Solicitors are 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 to improve our standards and ensure that we continue to offer the level of service you would expect.
Our Complaints Procedure
If you have a concern or a complaint, please contact us as soon as you are aware of the problem so this can be addressed. In the event of a complaint, you can either write in to us at the registered office address on our website or e-mail your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will happen next?
1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five days of our receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Client Care Partner, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
3. The Client Care Partner will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and, it is hoped, resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
4. Within three days of the meeting, the Client Care Partner will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, the Client Care Partner will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his 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 to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will review your comments. Depending on the matter we may at this stage arrange for another Partner 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.
8. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or call 0300 555 0333 about your complaint. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of your receiving a final written response from us regarding your complaint. The Legal Ombudsman has provided further guidance on its service at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.
We at Zen Law Solicitors strive to deal with any complaints with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity, and won’t stop looking after you when things go wrong. Our complaints Procedure is tailored to help us get to the bottom of things very quickly to ensure a speedy resolution.
Anti-Money Laundering Policy
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is the process by which the identity of ‘dirty money’ is changed so that the proceeds of crime appear to originate from a legitimate source. It is important that solicitors and their employees take steps to ensure that their services are not used by those seeking to legitimise the proceeds of crime.
Solicitors must be aware that they may be involved in the money laundering process.
It is the policy of Zen Law Solicitors that we will take no avoidable risks and will co-operate fully with the authorities where necessary. No matter how much we want to help our client, we must not be a party to any form of dishonesty. We must be alert to the possibility that transactions on which we are instructed may involve money laundering.
The Practice’s Policy
Legislation (in particular the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007) has formalised our responsibilities relating to money laundering.
These responsibilities are reflected in Zen Law Solicitors’ policy, a full copy of which can be requested from us by e-mail to email@example.com.
To guard against money laundering, we must have proof of your identity and address before we can act on your behalf. This does not mean that we suspect all of our clients of money laundering, only that we are taking steps required by law to show that you are who you say you are.
Proof of Identity and Address
So that we can confirm your identity we will need to see (1) one form of ‘evidence of identity’ and (2) one form of ‘proof of address’. The documents which we accept as proof of identity are:
Evidence of identity
- Current signed passport
- Current full UK driving licence (please provide both sections of a photo card licence)
- Current UK provisional photo card driving licence (please provide both sections)
- Inland Revenue PAYE Coding Notice
- Benefits book or Benefits Agency/Department for Work and Pensions Notification letter
Proof of address
- Current full UK driving licence (if not already used as evidence of identity)
- Current UK provisional photo card driving licence (if not already used as evidence of identity)
- Bank, building society or credit union statement or passbook (with printed address)
- Recent utility bill, i.e. gas, electric (not a mobile phone bill)
- Benefits book or Benefits Agency/Department for Work and Pensions Notification letter (if not already used as evidence of identity)
- Current local authority tax bill
- Most recent original mortgage statement
Do not worry if you do not have any of the items listed above. Although the law does require us to have satisfactory proof of your identity and address, we do have alternative procedures for clients who have reasonable grounds for not being able to produce the documents above.
Confidentiality in Money Laundering
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception. The recent legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a strict legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure. If this happens, we may not be able to inform you that such a disclosure has been made, or of the reasons for it because the law prohibits the offence of “tipping off”.
At Zen Law Solicitors, we take our money laundering obligations very seriously, but only to protect all of our clients.
Equality and Diversity Policy
Zen Law Solicitors have adopted a strict Equality and Diversity Policy pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Code of Conduct 2011 and Principle 9 of the SRA Handbook 2011.
We are committed to the principles of equality and diversity and to observing all legislative requirements. This is a policy written and adopted for preventing discrimination, harassment and victimisation and promoting equality and diversity within the firm. This applies to the firm’s managers and employees, and its professional dealings with other solicitors, barristers, other lawyers, agents, clients and third parties.
In accordance with Chapter 2 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 we have compiled this policy and will adopt and implement the provisions contained therein and we will ensure that managers, employees, and agents with whom we contract on a self-employed fee-earning basis, adhere to the contents of this document and we will promptly deal with any instances of discrimination which might arise.
Regulation and Legislation
In developing and implementing our Equality and Diversity Policy, we are committed to complying with Chapter 2 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, the 10 Mandatory Principles and all relevant statutory legislative provisions.
A full copy of the policy can be requested from us by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zen Law Solicitors has adopted a strict Undertakings Policy to safeguard clients and complement its ongoing commitment to risk management. The Undertakings Policy states as follows:
No undertaking is to be given by any fee-earner without the prior approval and signature of a Partner, except for the routine undertakings given which may be given to the Courts.
Zen Law Solicitors only carries out personal injury work. In the event the firm may expand it practice areas, for example, carry out conveyancing work, this policy will be reviewed in order to assess the additional risks and considerations.
Although the firm takes the view that no undertakings should be given, there may be occasions where it is necessary to do so. Undertakings may only be given by the Partners.
Where the firm does provide an undertaking, it will be recorded on the file, both internally and externally. Also, a copy of the undertaking will be kept in a central register which is reviewed and monitored.
The firm will also record any undertakings in the manual and electronic diary in order to ensure that the firm does not overlook any deadlines in discharging any undertakings provided.
Any file subject to an undertaking will be marked with a red sticker on the outside of the file. No file subject to an undertaking can be closed unless signed off by the Partners.
This policy is available to all staff to read and any necessary training will be provided to all current and new members of staff.