Office complaints procedure
For the purposes of this office complaints procedure, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
“Complainant” means the client or his representative who makes a complaint;
“Complaint”: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client towards the lawyer or persons working under his responsibility with respect to the conclusion and execution of a contract for services, the quality of the services or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Lawyers Act;
“Complaint Officer” means the attorney charged with handling the complaint.
Range of application
This office complaints procedure applies to every contract for services between the Bunders Lok law firm and the client. Every Bunders Lok lawyer is responsible for handling complaints in accordance with the office complaints procedure.
The purpose of this office complaints procedure is:
- the establishment of a procedure for the constructive resolution of client complaints within a reasonable period of time;
- establishing a procedure to determine the causes of client complaints;
- maintaining and improving existing relationships through proper complaint handling;
- training of employees in client-focused responses to complaints;
- improving the quality of service through complaint handling and analysis.
Information at the start of services
These office complaints rules have been made public. Prior to entering into the contract for services, the lawyer shall inform the client that the office has a regulation on office complaints and that this regulation is applicable to the services provided.
Bunders Lok has included in its General Terms and Conditions of Business the independent party or body to which a complaint that has not been resolved after processing may be submitted in order to obtain a binding ruling.
Internal complaint procedure
If a client approaches the office with a complaint, the complaint will be forwarded to Mr M. Bunders, who then acts as a complaints officer. In the absence of Mr M. Bunders, the executive committee of the partnership will appoint a substitute complaints officer.
The complaints officer will inform the person complained about that the complaint has been lodged and will give the complainant and the person complained about the opportunity to explain the complaint. The person who is the subject of the complaint will try to find a solution together with the client, possibly after intervention by the complaints officer.
The complaints officer will deal with the complaint within four weeks of receipt of the complaint, or will notify the complainant of any deviation from this term, stating the term within which an opinion on the complaint will be given.
The Complaints Officer will notify the complainant and the person complained about in writing of the opinion on the merits of the complaint, whether or not accompanied by recommendations.
If the complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint has been made shall sign the judgment on the merits of the complaint. If the complaint cannot be solved by means of this complaints procedure in a way that is acceptable to the client, the client may turn to the competent court in Amsterdam.
Confidentiality and free complaint handling
The complaints officer and the person complained about will observe secrecy during the handling of the complaint. The complainant does not owe any compensation for the costs of handling the complaint.
The complaints officer is responsible for dealing with the complaint in good time. The person complained about keeps the complaints officer informed about any contact and a possible solution. The complaints officer keeps the complainant informed about the handling of the complaint. The complaints officer keeps the complaint file up to date.
The complaints officer registers the complaint and the subject of the complaint. A complaint can be classified into several subjects. The complaints officer periodically reports on the settlement of the complaints and makes recommendations for the prevention of new complaints, as well as for the improvement of procedures. At least once a year, the reports and the recommendations are discussed at the office and submitted for decision.