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Complaints Procedure

Procedure for complaints

DEFINITION
Complaint: a written statement of dissatisfaction by the client or his representative regarding the conduct of a lawyer affiliated with Gravendeel Advocaten.
Complainant: the relevant client or his representative.
Complaints officer: a person designated by the office responsible for the registration and handling of the complaint.
Complaints regulations: these regulations.

OBJECTIVE
The objective of the Gravendeel Advocaten complaints regulations is:

  • to establish a procedure to respond constructively and at the shortest possible notice to clients’ complaints;
  • to record a procedure to determine the causes of clients’ complaints;
  • to maintain and improve existing relationships by means of responsible complaints handling;
  • to advise the staff member affiliated with Gravendeel Advocaten on how to focus on clients when responding to complaints;
  • to improve the quality of services by means of the handling and analysis of complaints.

THE PROCEDURE
Gravendeel Advocaten has an internal complaints procedure.
A client may file a complaint about the conduct of the lawyer handling his or her case (“the lawyer”). Complaints should be filed in writing addressed to the lawyer or – at the client’s discretion – to Gravendeel Advocaten. The Board appoints a complaints officer. The lawyer, or the complaints officer, will confirm receipt of the complaint within three business days and in so doing will provide the complainant with information about the complaints procedure. If a complaint is filed directly with the complaints officer, that person will inform the lawyer of the complaint.
The lawyer and the complaints officer jointly decide who will contact the complainant and how the complaint will be handled. The underlying principle shall always be that the complainant is satisfied and a solution is arrived at.

If pursuant to the previous paragraph it was the complaints officer that contacted the complainant, he or she will, after having studied the file, provide the complainant with the opportunity to comment on the complaint in greater detail, either verbally or in writing. The lawyer will subsequently be asked to respond to these comments.
If a meeting is organised between the complaints officer and the client, it will be attended by the lawyer at the request of the complaints officer or the client, unless the client objects to the lawyer’s presence.
The complaints officer will reply to the complaint within no more than 15 business days from receipt of the complaint, or, as appropriate, within no more than 15 business days from receipt of the written comments or, as appropriate, within no more than 15 business days from the date of the discussion of the complaint.
Complaints are dealt with in writing, where possible within a term of one month.
The lawyer or the complaints officer will ensure that any arrangements made with the complainant are properly documented in writing.
If the complaints procedure does not result in a solution, the complainant shall be authorised to submit the complaint to the dean of the Central Netherlands Bar Association.

COMPLAINT REGISTRATION
Copies of all written records of the complaint and its handling will be kept for a period of 1 year. Annually the complaints officer will report to the lawyers affiliated with Gravendeel Advocaten. If there is reason to do so, the complaints officer will make recommendations to the lawyers affiliated with Gravendeel Advocaten.

OTHER
In case of a complaint, Gravendeel Advocaten may appoint as complaints officer a colleague, possibly from another law firm who is not involved in the case.

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