Article 1 Definitions
In this complaints procedure:
• Complaint means any written statement of dissatisfaction filed by or on behalf clients against the lawyer or the individuals working under the lawyer’s responsibility about the conclusion and execution of contracts for services, the quality of services or invoice amounts, not being a complaint as referred to in article 4 of the Counsel Act;
• Applicant means: clients or their representatives filing complaints;
• Complaints officer means: the lawyer entrusted with handling complaints;
Article 2 Scope of Application
1. This complaints procedure applies to all contracts for services between Slangen Advocaten and clients.
2. All lawyers of Slangen Advocaten will be responsible for handling complaints in accordance with this complaints procedure.
Article 3 Objectives
The objectives of this complaints procedure are to:
1. Handle clients’ complaints constructively within a reasonable term;
2. Identify the cause for clients’ complaints;
3. Preserve and improve existing relations;
4. Train staff in responding to complaints in a client-oriented way;
5. Enhance the quality of our services by resolving and analysing issues.
Article 4 Information upon Commencement of Services
1. This complaints procedure has been published. Before entering into a contract for services the lawyer will point out to clients that the firm’s services are governed by this complaints procedure.
2. Slangen Advocaten’s standard terms and conditions and the engagement letter designate an independent party or institution with which applicants can file unresolved complaints to obtain a binding opinion. Clients are informed of this in the engagement letter.
3. Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this complaints procedure that are not resolved will be submitted to the Court of Amsterdam.
Article 5 In-House Complaints Procedure
1. Complaints filed by clients will be forwarded to C.M. Slangen or J.A.J. Heikens, who will act as complaints officers.
2. The complaints officer will inform the subject of the complaint that a complaint has been filed and will enable the applicant and the subject of the complaint to comment on the complaint.
3. The subject of the complaint will try to reach a solution together with the applicant, whether or not through the intervention of the complaints officer.
4. The complaints officer will handle complaints within four weeks of receipt or will inform the applicant of any deviating term, stating the term within which he/she will decide on the complaint.
5. The complaints officer will inform the applicant and the subject of the complaint in writing whether the complaint is valid, and may issue a recommendation.
6. If the complaint has been resolved satisfactorily, the applicant, the complaints officer and the subject of the complaint will sign the decision on the validity of the complaint.
Article 6 Confidentiality and Free of Charge Procedure
1. The complaints of cer and the subject of the complaint will observe a duty of confidentiality in handling complaints.
2. Applicants do not owe any charges for the handling of complaints.
Article 7 Responsibilities
1. The complaints officer will be responsible for timely handling complaints.
2. The subject of the complaint will notify the complaints officer of any contact with applicants and possible solutions with applicants.
3. The complaints officer will keep applicants informed of the status of their complaints.
4. The complaints officer will keep records on the complaints.
Article 8 Registration of Complaints
1. The complaints officer will register complaints, stating the subjects of the complaints.
2. Complaints may be sub-divided into several subjects.