Our complaints policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

If you are unhappy or concerned about the service then you should immediately inform us.  In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the fee earner conducting your work directly to discuss your concerns in the hope these can be rectified directly.  If this is unsuccessful or you otherwise with to make a formal complaint then the procedure is outlined below.

Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint, write to us with the details (if you have not already done so) for the attention of Mark Heselden.

Email: markheselden@bwblegal.com

Post: 27 Friars Street, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2AD

Alternatively in the first instance, an appointment to discuss matters with Mark Heselden in person can be arranged by telephoning 01787 880440.

3. What will happen next?

  1. We will record your complaint in our central register within a day of receiving it and send you an acknowledgement on the same day.
  2. We will then start to investigate your complaint.  This will normally involve the following steps:We will pass your complaint to Mr. Mark Heselden, our Client Care & Complaints Director, within 3 days.

    Upon receipt of the complaint he will ask the person who acted for you to reply to your complaint normally within 7 days, though this period may have to be extended to allow for absences.

    He will then examine their reply and the information in your complaint and, if necessary, he may also speak to them.  This will take up to 7 days from receiving their reply and the file.

  3. Mr. Heselden will then write to you and, if necessary, ask you to meet him and discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint.  He will do this within one month of receiving your complaint.
  4. If a meeting proves necessary, Mr. Heselden will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you within one week of the meeting.  We reserve the right to ask another member of our staff to be present at any meeting and to make a note of what is discussed, a copy of which will be provided to you.If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Mr. Heselden will send you a detailed reply to your complaint.  This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter. 
  5. If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

If we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman may be able to help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves.  They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.  If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was a cause for a complaint

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them directly

Contact Details:


0300 555 0333 (between 9am and 5pm)


Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

If you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour.  This could be for things like dishonest, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns directly with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.


Please note that Bates Wells & Braithwaite are still operating during the Covid-19 Pandemic and will be throughout.


You can enter reception during our standard opening hours of 9:00am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday to enable you to produce ID or drop off or collect documents or to attend a pre-arranged meeting.

The office will be closed between the hours of 1pm and 2pm.


Please note that our Covid Policy requires all visitors to wear a face mask (unless you are exempt) and observe social distancing, even after July 19th 2021

This is to ensure that we continue to be able to offer an environment as safe as possible for all clients and staff


  • All meetings will remain to be by appointment only and where possible we ask that you arrange appointments by contacting us by telephone or email in order to assist social distancing measures.
  • We ask that you please do not arrive early or late to an appointment as we have to strictly control the numbers of people entering the building at any one time.
  • On entry, you will be required to wear a mask, obey social distancing rules, use the hand sanitiser provided and the wall mounted thermometer prior to approaching the reception desk.
  • To assist with social distancing, you may find you are asked to wait on the pavement outside the office, or that the front door is locked in order to control the number of people in reception at any one time.

We have a visual walk-through you can access by clicking here to outline all the rules and precautions we have had to put in place


If you are not yet ready to attend our offices we will still offer telephone or video appointments where possible.


Please call us on 01787 880440 to discuss existing or new instructions.


Thank you

The Directors of Bates Wells & Braithwaite

Last updated: 15/07/2021