Internal Complaints Handling Scheme of L&A lawyers under Article 6.28 of the Regulations for the Legal Profession (Verordening op de advocatuur)
Internal Complaints Handling Scheme of L&A advocaten B.V.
Article 1 – Definitions
In this Internal Complaints Handling Scheme the terms listed below have the following meaning:
- Complaint: any written statement of dissatisfaction from or on behalf of a client towards the lawyer or the persons working under his or her responsibility regarding the conclusion and performance of an engagement, the quality of the service provided or the amount of the fee statement, not being a complaint within the meaning of §4 of the Dutch Counsel Act (Advocatenwet);
- Complainant: the client or his or her representative who files a complaint; and
- Complaints Officer: the lawyer entrusted with the handling of the complaint.
Article 2 – Scope
- This Internal Complaints Handling Scheme applies to all engagements between L&A and the client.
- All the lawyers of L&A will arrange for the handling of Complaints in accordance with this Internal Complaints Handling Scheme.
Article 3 – Objectives
The objectives of this Internal Complaints Handling Scheme are:
- to record a procedure for the constructive handling of Complaints from clients within a reasonable period;
- to record a procedure to determine the causes of Complaints from clients;
- to maintain and improve existing relationships by properly handling Complaints;
- to train employees to respond to Complaints in a client-oriented manner; and
- to improve the quality of the services by means of Complaints handling and Complaints analysis.
Article 4 – Information at the start of the services
- This Internal Complaints Handling Scheme has been made public. Before entering into an engagement the lawyer will draw the client’s attention to the fact that the firm has an internal Complaints handling scheme and that it applies to the services to be provided.
- L&A lawyers has recorded in its general conditions to what independent party or body a Complaint that has not been solved after being handled can be presented in order to obtain a binding ruling, which it made known in the engagement letter.
- Complaints as referred to in article 1 of this Internal Complaints Handling Scheme that are not solved after being handled are presented to the Court of Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Article 5 – Internal Complaints procedure
- If a client contacts the firm with a Complaint, the Complaint is passed on to Ms. J.W. Klinckhamers, who thereby acts as the Complaints Officer.
- The Complaints Officer informs the person to whom the Complaint relates that a Complaint has been filed and gives the Complainant and the person to whom the Complaint relates the opportunity to explain the Complaint.
- The person to whom the Complaint relates will attempt to reach a solution together with the client, possibly through the agency of the Complaints Officer.
- The Complaints Officer will handle the Complaint within four weeks after it is filed or will inform the Complainant, while stating the reasons, of any departure from that term, stating the term within which a ruling on the Complaint will be issued.
- The Complaints Officer will inform the Complainant and the person to whom the Complaint relates in writing of her ruling on the validity of the Complaint, possibly accompanied by recommendations.
- If the Complaint has been handled satisfactorily, the Complainant, the Complaints Officer and the person to which the Complaint relates will sign the ruling on the validity of the Complaint.
Article 6 – Confidentiality and cost-free complaint handling
- The Complaints Officer and the person to whom the Complaint relates will observe confidentiality in handling the Complaint.
- The Complainant will not owe any fee for the handling of the Complaint.
Article 7 – Responsibilities
- The Complaints Officer is responsible for the timely handling of the Complaint.
- The person to whom the Complaint relates will inform the Complaints Officer of any contact that has taken place and of any solution reached.
- The Complaints Officer will inform the Complainant about the handling of the Complaint.
- The Complaints Officer will keep a file of the Complaint.
Article 8 – Registration of the Complaint
- The Complaints Officer will register the Complaint, stating the subject of the Complaint.
- A Complaint may be divided into several subjects.
- The Complaints Officer will periodically report on the handling of the Complaint and will make recommendations to avoid new Complaints and to improve procedures.
- The reports and the recommendations will be discussed and presented for decision-making within the firm once a year.