The office complaints handling scheme as referred to in art. 6.28 of the Legal Profession Regulation (Verordening op de advocatuur).
Article 1 definitions
In this office complaints handling scheme the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- complaint: each written expression of dissatisfaction of or on behalf of the client vis-à-vis the lawyer (i.e. attorney-at-law: advocaat) or the persons employed under his/her responsibility concerning the establishment and the execution of an assignment agreement, the quality of the services or the amount of the invoice, which is not a complaint as is referred to in paragraph 4 of the Counsel Act (Advocatenwet);
- complainant: the client or its representative who makes a complaint known;
- complaints officer: the lawyer who is charged with the handling of the claim.
Article 2 scope of application
- This office complaints handling scheme is applicable to each assignment agreement concluded between CoLegal and the client.
- The lawyer is responsible for settling the claim in conformity with the office complaints handling scheme.
Article 3 objectives
The objectives of this office complaints handling scheme are:
- to lay down a procedure to settle claims of clients in a constructive manner within a reasonable period;
- to lay down a procedure for the purpose of determining the causes of complaints of clients;
- to maintain and improve existing relations by means of proper handling of complaints;
- to train employees in client-focused response to complaints;
- to improve the quality of the services with the aid of complaints handling and complaint analysis.
Article 4 information at commencement of services
- This office complaints handling scheme has been made public. The lawyer informs the client prior to the entering into the assignment agreement that the office has a complaints handling scheme in place and that this is applicable to the services provided.
- CoLegal has incorporated a clause in its General Terms and Conditions which sets out the independent party or institution to which a complaint which has not been resolved after handling can be submitted for the purpose of obtaining a binding decision, and makes this known at the confirmation of the assignment.
- Complaints as referred to in para. 1. of this complaints handling scheme which are not resolved after handling may be brought before the court at Amsterdam.
Article 5 internal complaints procedure
- In the event a client approaches the office with a complaint, the complaint shall be referred to mr. A.B. Schoonbeek, who thereby acts as complaints officer.
- The complaints officer provides the complainant the opportunity to provide an explanation of the complaint.
- The party who has been complained about shall endeavour to reach a solution together with the client.
- The complaints officer shall settle the claim within four weeks of being in receipt of the claim or, if relevant, shall inform the complainant why, substantiated with reasons, this period has been deviated from, stating the period within which an opinion on the complaint is to be provided.
- The complaints officer informs the complainant in writing of the opinion of the validity of the claim, whether or not accompanied with recommendations.
- In the event the claim has not been settled satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the party whom the complaint concerned shall sign the opinion on the validity of the claim.
Article 6 confidentiality and complaints handling free of charge
- The complaints officer and the party who has been complained about shall duly observe the duty of confidentiality in the handling of the complaint.
- The complainant is due no remuneration for the costs of the handling of the claim.
Article 7 responsibilities
- The complaints officer is responsible for timely handling of the complaint.
- The party about whom the complaint is made keeps the complaints officer up-to-date about any contact made and a possible solution.
- The complaints officer keeps the complainant up-to-date about the handling of the claim.
- The complaints officer keeps the complaint file up-to-date.
Article 8 complaint registration
- The complaints officer registers the complaint and also the subject of the complaint.
- A complaint can be divided up into a number of subjects.
- The complaints officer periodically issues a report on the handling of the complaints and makes recommendations for the prevention of new complaints, as well as improvement of procedures.