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01708 380210 (9am-5pm)
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Complaints & Other Matters

Complaints Procedure and Advice:-.

Paul Martin & Co. are committed to high quality legal advice and client care.

We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, we ask that initially you contact Paul Martin, Principle of the Practice and Solicitor, on 01708 380210 or via email at Dee@paulmartinlaw.com or by post to our office at:

10 Western Road, Romford, Essex RM1 3JT.

However in cases being dealt with by Paul Martin in the event of you having a complaint, this should be addressed to Miss C Lee Barton Senior Solicitor of over 20 years experience, via email at lee@paulmartinlaw.com or via post to our offices at 10, Western Road, Romford Essex RM1 3JT or again by telephone on 01708 380210.

If you would like to discuss how the service to you could be improved, the level of your bill, or any other aspect of our service with which you are not satisfied, please contact Mr Paul Martin on any one of the contact methods set out above.

If you would like to see a copy of our complaints procedure at any time, please let us know and we will arrange for a copy of our complaints procedure to be sent to you.

The procedure for addressing any service complaint that we recieve is as follows:-

We have eight weeks to consider your complaint.

If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us within that timeframe, then you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or via telephone on 0300 5550333 or visit their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.

Please be aware that any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six months of your having recieved a final written response from us about your complaint.

Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring; or within three years from when you should have known about or become aware that there were grounds for complaint.

For further information, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman on the contact details given above.

The above procedure addresses any issue that you may have relating to the service you have recieved either from the Fee Earner dealing with your case or any other member of the firm. 

Not all complaints are necessarily about the service you receive.

If you have a complaint that relates to the conduct or behaviour of any member of our firm or the practice as a whole, this complaint should be referred to the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority). This body will deal with complaints that do not relate to how your case is being conducted.

Examples of the type of issue the SRA will address, are where there are allegations of dishonesty relating to any member of the firm, or where you feel you have been treated wrongly or unfairly because of your age, disability or ethnicity. These are examples of the type of issue that the SRA deal with as complaints. These are examples and not an exhaustive list. 

If you require further information, on any complaint of this nature, we suggest that you visit the website for the SRA to see how you can raise any concerns that you may have. Their address is:-

www.sra.org.uk

Funding:-

At Paul Martin & Co. we can support the three major forms of funding criminal defence litigation.  These can be broadly summarised as :-

(a)  Public funding (known as legal aid).

(b)  Insurance Company funding, and

(c)  Private resource funding.

Public Funding (legal aid)

In cases that are publicly funded, we support and assist our clients in lodging the forms of application to secure public funding to include the relevant documents that will need to be produced to secure an authorisation for public funding of the defence by the Legal Services Commission on the client's behalf.

Attached to this page of the site are :-

(i)  A copy of the current forms of application for public funding which can be downloaded and completed for lodgement with the court.

(ii) A copy of the current Terms and Conditions of Paul Martin & Co. Solicitors.

Both these documents provide useful information on what would be required to secure public funding and the service that Paul Martin & Co. will thereafter provide. 

We make no distinction whatsoever in the service that we provide, whether a case be funded using legal aid or from private or insurance company resources.

In addition, as a Practice providing a publicly funded service, we are accredited for such purposes by the Legal Services Commission who adminster this scheme. 

We also have the special accreditation required to undertake what is known as Very High Cost Cases (VHCC).  These are cases where the nature of the allegations, due to the size, complexity, public or international interest, requires special funding of that case on the client's behalf.

In such cases, the Legal Services Commission enters into a specific contract with us to enable us to provide the required service in relation to the client's defence.

Insurance Company Funding / Private Resource Funding

In reality cases such as these separate in broadly similar terms.

Where our client has the benefit of a policy of insurance or wishes to fund his defence privately from his own resources or those of a third party, we can :-

(a)  Agree a fee globally at each stage of the case to include disbursements that will be incurred such as the fees of a defending barrister and or those of any required expert witness.  By agreeing the fees, the client knows from the outset the maximum amount that he will be required to pay in his defence to see the case through from effectively start to finish.

(b)  Alternatively, we can work on an agreed hourly rate to carry out what needs to be done as agreed with the client to secure his defence.

Again please see our attached Terms and Conditions for further information as to the basis of our being employed on your behalf.

If insurers are available to fund the cost of your defence, then we will agree with your insurers the cost of your defence.  In reality, in such cases, clients rarely have to provide additoinal funding from their own resources.

We have a proven track record of working with leading insurers to include Allianz, AON, AEG, Liverpool & Victoria and AGEAS to name but a few.

In cases where there is to be a contested trial and the case is funded by either an insurance company or from private resources, we at Paul Martin & Co. make every effort to try to ensure that, in the event of a not guilty verdict, the client can recover the costs that he has incurred in his defence.

Provided our client cannot be said to have brought the prosecution upon himself, we ensure that the rates we charge for representation, to include the cost of third parties, e.g. barristers and experts, are set throughout at the appropriate levels to ensure a maximum recovery of that outlay.

We do so by using the hourly charge rates indicated by the courts which set the appropriate hourly rate for the type of case using the services of the right calibre of people to keep costs to an effective minimum.

Again, if providing the service for insurers or privately, we will agree the same with you in full and confirm the same on an agreed written basis.

The appropriate basis for charging varies from case to case and all clients are always consulted and advised as to the appropriate course with all being confirmed in writing.

Again, please see our Terms and Conditions for further information.