Office complaints procedure CLINT Lawyers & Mediators

Article 1 definitions

In this office complaints procedure the following expressions have the meanings stated:

  • complaint: any written statement of dissatisfaction expressed by or on behalf of a client against the concerned lawyer or the persons working under the lawyer’s responsibility regarding the formation and performance of a letter of engagement, the quality of the services provided or the amount of the fee note, not being a complaint as referred to in Section 4 of the Advocatenwet (Counsel Act)
  • complainant: the client or his representative that expresses a complaint;
  • complaints officer: the lawyer charged with handling the complaint.

Article 2 Scope of application

  1. This office complaints procedure applies to every letter of engagement concluded between CLINT B.V. (‘CLINT’) and the client.
  2. ‘CLINT Lawyers & Mediators’, ‘CLINT B.V.’ and ‘CLINT’ are registered trademarks of CLINT.
  3. CLINT ensures that complaints are handled in conformity with the office complaints procedure.

Article 3 Object

The object of this office complaints procedure is to:

  1. establish a procedure for constructively dealing with a client’s complaint within a reasonable period of time;
  2. establish a procedure for determining the cause of a client’s complaint;
  3. maintain and improve existing relationships by correctly dealing with complaints;
  4. train employees to respond to complaints in a client-orientated manner;
  5. improve the quality of services through complaint handling and complaint analysis.

Article 4 Information on commencement of the services

  1. This office complaints procedure has been made public. Before the letter of engagement is signed, the lawyer must point out to the client that the office has an office complaints procedure and that this applies to the services to be provided.
  2. In its general conditions CLINT has specified the independent party or authority with whom a complaint that has not been resolved after having been handled can be lodged in order to obtain a binding decision and CLINT has made this known on confirmation of the engagement.
  3. Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this office complaints procedure, which have not been resolved after having been handled, must be submitted to the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession (Geschillencommissie Advocatuur).

Article 5 Internal complaints procedure

  1. If a client contacts CLINT with a complaint, the complaint will be passed on to Mr. D.G. Veldhuizen, who will then act as the complaints officer.
  2. The complaints officer will inform the person complained about that a complaint has been lodged and will give the complainant and the person complained about the opportunity to provide an explanation with regard to the complaint.
  3. The person complained about will endeavour to find a solution together with the client, with or without the intervention of the complaints officer.
  4. The complaints officer will handle the complaint within four weeks of receipt of the complaint or will inform the complainant, stating reasons, that this period cannot be adhered to, specifying the period within which it will be possible to give an opinion about the complaint.
  5. The complaints officer will inform the complainant and the person complained about, in writing, of the opinion regarding the merits of the complaint, with or without recommendations.
  6. If the complaint has been handled to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person complained about will sign the opinion regarding the merits of the complaint.

Article 6 Confidentiality and free complaint handling

  1. The complaints officer and the person complained about will maintain confidentiality with regard to the handling of the complaint.
  2. The complainant will not be obliged to pay the costs involved in the handling of the complaint.

Article 7 Responsibilities

  1. The complaints officer is responsible for handling the complaint in a prompt manner.
  2. The person complained about will keep the complaints officer informed of any contact and a possible resolution.
  3. The complaints officer will keep the complainant informed of the handling of the complaint.
  4. The complaints officer will keep the complaints file up to date.

Article 8 Complaints registration

  1. The complaints officer will register the complaint and also the subject of the complaint.
  2. A complaint may be classified under several subjects.
  3. The complaints officer will report regularly on the handling of the complaints and will make recommendations to prevent new complaints and to improve procedures.

At least once a year the reports and the recommendations will be discussed in the office and submitted to the Executive Board for a decision.