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Complaints Handling Policy

We are committed to providing high-quality intellectual property services to our clients.  To enable us to do this, we need to know whenever you feel that our services have fallen below this goal.  If something goes wrong or if you are unhappy about any aspect of SH&P’s services, please let us know.  Details of your complaint can be sent either to your primary contact within SH&P or, if you feel uncomfortable discussing the problem with that person,  one of the firm’s partners (their details can be found on the Meet the Team page of our website.

How your complaint will be handled:

1. All complaints, including those resolved immediately, are documented and reported to SH&P’s Complaints Manager who will supervise the handling of the complaint.

2. Often it will be possible to resolve your complaint immediately. If your complaint is one that cannot be resolved immediately, a departmental investigation into your complaint will be conducted. We will endeavour to send you within 2 working days a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint and confirming when you can expect to hear the outcome of our departmental investigation. The department investigation will usually involve the details of your complaint and any additional relevant information being reviewed by the partner who has responsibility for that department.

3. The partner with responsibility for reviewing your complaint (or someone authorised by them) will contact you to inform you of the outcome of the departmental investigation and hopefully to resolve your complaint or, where necessary, to seek further information from you regarding the complaint. The partner will endeavour to do this within 14 days of sending you the initial acknowledgement. In the event further time is needed to complete the departmental investigation you will be notified of the need for additional time and the reasons for this.

4. At this stage, if you are not satisfied with the outcome of the departmental investigation, you should contact us again and request a review of the management and outcome of the departmental investigation.

5. We will endeavour to send acknowledgement of receipt of your request for review within 2 working days and we will arrange for the Complaints Manager (or where the Complaints Manager is already connected with the matter, the Senior Partner) to review the departmental investigation and its outcome. We will endeavour to write to you within 21 days from our acknowledgement receipt to confirm our final position on your complaint and to explain the reasons for that position.

6. If the outcome of our complaint review is unacceptable to you and your complaint relates to poor service, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. There are time limits affecting when a complaint may be referred to the Legal Ombudsman and we shall confirm the relevant deadline in our final report on the outcome of the complaint review. Please note that the Legal Ombudsman handles complaints from individuals, very small businesses, charities, trusts, clubs and associations. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman by telephone: 0300 555 0333, via their website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk or by email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk .

7. If the outcome of the complaint review is unacceptable to you and your complaint relates to professional misconduct, you have the right to complain to the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) or, in some cases, the European Patent Institute (EPI). There are time limits affecting when a complaint may be referred to IPReg and we shall confirm the relevant deadline in our final report on the outcome of the complaint review. You can contact IPReg via their website: www.ipreg.org.uk or by email: ipreg@ipreg.org.uk .