LEXSIGMA Advocaten Complaints Procedure
Article 1: definitions
In this complaints procedure, the following terms shall be understood to have the meanings assigned to them below:
- complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of a client against the lawyer or the persons working under the lawyer’s supervision regarding the conclusion and performance of an engagement agreement, the quality of the services rendered, or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint as defined in paragraph 4 of the Dutch Counsel Act [Advocatenwet];
- complainant: the client or his representative who files a complaint;
- complaints officer: the lawyer charged with resolving the complaint;
Article 2: scope
- This complaints procedure applies to every engagement agreement concluded between LEXSIGMA Advocaten and the client.
- Every lawyer at LEXSIGMA Advocaten will resolve complaints in accordance with the complaints procedure.
Article 3: objectives
The objectives of this complaints procedure are to:
- lay down a procedure for constructively resolving client complaints within a reasonableperiod of time;
- lay down a procedure for establishing the cause of client complaints;
- maintain and improve existing relationships by resolving complaints properly;
- train employees to respond to complaints in a customer-oriented way;
- use the resolution and analysis of complaints to improve the quality of the services provided.
Article 4: information upon the start of the services
- This complaints procedure has been made part of the public domain. Prior to entering into an engagement agreement, the lawyer shall advise the client that there is a complaints procedure in place at the firm and that this procedure will apply to the services provided.
- In its General Terms and Conditions [algemene voorwaarden] LEXSIGMA Advocaten has identified the independent party or authority to which an unresolved complaint can be submitted in order to obtain a binding decision, and has notified the client upon this confirming the engagement.
- Complaints as defined in Article 1 of this complaints procedure that have not been resolved by means of this procedure will be submitted to the District Court [Rechtbank].
Article 5: internal complaints procedure
- When a client submits a complaint to the firm, that complaint will be forwarded to Ms P.J.M. Koning, who will act as the complaints officer.
- The complaints officer shall notify the person who is the subject of the complaint that the complaint has been submitted and will afford that person and the complainant the opportunity to provide an explanation regarding the complaint.
- The person who is the subject of the complaint will attempt to reach a solution with the client, possibly with the intervention of the complaints officer.
- The complaints officer will resolve the complaint within four weeks of its receipt, or will provide the complainant with a statement indicating the reasons for deviating from this term and establishing the term within which a decision on the complaint will be taken.
- The complaints officer shall provide the complainant and the subject of the complaint with a written decision regarding the complaint’s validity, possibly accompanied by recommendations.
- If the complaint is resolved satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer, and the subject of the complaint will sign the written opinion regarding the complaint’s validity.
Article 6: confidentiality and cost-free complaint resolution
- The complaints officer and the subject of the complaint will observe confidentiality during the complaint-resolution process.
- The complainant shall not be charged for the costs associated with handling the complaint.
Article 7: responsibilities
- The complaints officer shall be responsible for timely resolving the complaint.
- The subject of the complaint must notify the complaints officer of any contact and possible solutions.
- The complaints officer shall keep the complainant informed regarding the resolution of the complaint.
- The complaints officer shall keep a complaint file.
Article 8: filing a complaint
- The complaints officer shall register the complaint and the issue of the complaint.
- A complaint can be classified in several issue categories.
- At least once per year, the complaints officer shall provide the firm with a complaint resolution report and make recommendations for preventing new complaints from arising. Recommendations will be submitted to the firm for use in its decision-making.