Treating Clients Fairly

The Principles

1.1   At County Legal Support Services (CLSS) we adhere to the code of conduct laid down by the Society of Professional McKenzie Friends.  Additionally, we follow these principles, which are based on those laid down by the Financial Conduct Authority for treating customers fairly:

a.   Clients can be confident that they are dealing with a firm (CLSS) where their fair treatment is central to the culture.

b.   Services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified client groups and are targeted accordingly.

c.   Clients are provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed in their dealings with CLSS.

d.   Advice received by clients is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.

e.   Clients are not placed under pressure to extend their relationship with CLSS unnecessarily or to desist from making a complaint concerning any dissatisfaction they might have with the service provided.

The Policy

2.1   It is the aim of CLSS to provide the very best advice and excellent service in a timely and professional manner. As well as being an ethically sound approach this also makes sense from a marketing point of view, as the cultivation of a good reputation can lead to repeat business and additional clients coming forward by word-of-mouth.

2.2   CLSS aims, at all times, to adhere to the five principles set out above, both in practice and in spirit. We understand that our clients expect a high level of service and CLSS strives to meet and, if possible, to surpass, those expectations.

2.3   CLSS is open with clients about the services offered and their likely practical effect in meeting the needs of the client. Clients are kept informed as a case develops and advice given by CLSS is always against a background of ensuring that it is the client's interests which are uppermost. Clients are able to track the progress of their cases online, at their convenience, rather than having to wait for CLSS to get in touch or having to contact CLSS during normal business hours.

2.4   Should it become evident that CLSS is unable to meet the requirements of a client then the client is informed forthwith and the reasons explained. This is in line with CLSS's approach of focussing on the client and striving at all times to meet their needs. There is no delay should this not prove possible to achieve.

2.5   CLSS welcomes feedback from clients about what has gone well and, certainly equally if not more importantly, what has not gone well. Lessons can always be learnt and advice heeded. This approach reflects the open spirit in which CLSS conducts its business.

2.6   All complaints are taken seriously and investigated expeditiously. The designated partners examine each complaint and report back to the complainer both verbally (either via the telephone or face-to-face) and in writing.

The Culture

3.1   As a small business CLSS offers a particularly personal and bespoke service and it is the partners who deal with clients and prospective clients. As such, this means that clients and prospective clients can be confident that those with whom they are dealing are ever mindful of the five principles of treating clients fairly.

3.2   The CLSS partners are ever alive to ways of improving their service to clients, be this by way of attending courses, seminars, reading the literature or listening to feedback from others.

3.3   CLSS welcomes the sharing of best practice and will amend its own procedures and practices where it is shown that these can be improved upon and are not currently of the highest standard.