Article 1 definitions
In this office complaint scheme the following definitions apply:
complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client towards the lawyer or the persons working under his responsibility regarding the conclusion and execution of an agreement for services, the quality of the services or the amount of the fee, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Lawyers Act
complainant: the client or his representative making a complaint known;
complaints officer: the lawyer charged with handling the complaint;
Article 2 scope of application
1. This office complaints procedure applies to any agreement for services between Mr J.B.A. (Joost) Gerritsen (hereinafter “Legal Beetle” or “the lawyer”) and the client.
2. Legal Beetle takes care of complaint handling in accordance with the office complaints procedure.
Article 3 objectives
The objectives of this office complaint scheme are:
a. to establish a procedure to deal constructively with client complaints within a reasonable period of time;
b. to establish a procedure to determine the causes of client complaints;
c. maintaining and improving existing relationships through proper complaint handling;
d. training staff in client-centred response to complaints;
e. improve the quality of services by means of complaint handling and complaint analysis.
Article 4 information at the start of service provision
1. This office complaints procedure can be viewed on request and on the website of the lawyer. Before entering into the agreement for services, the lawyer will inform the client that the office has an office complaints procedure and that this procedure applies to the services provided.
2. Legal Beetle has included through the general terms and conditions the independent party or body to which a complaint that is not resolved after treatment can be submitted to obtain a binding decision and has made this known in the engagement confirmation.
3. Complaints as referred to in article 1 of this office complaints procedure which are not resolved after treatment shall be submitted to the court in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
Article 5 Internal complaint procedure
1. If a client approaches the firm with a complaint, the complaint will be forwarded to Mr J.B.A. (Joost) Gerritsen, who thereby acts as complaints officer.
2. The Complaints Officer shall notify the person complained about of the filing of the complaint and shall give the complainant and the person complained about an opportunity to explain the complaint.
3. The person complained about shall try to reach a solution together with the client, with or without the intervention of the complaints officer.
4. The complaints officer will settle the complaint within four weeks of receiving it, or will notify the complainant of any deviation from this deadline, giving reasons, and stating the period within which a decision on the complaint will be made.
5. The complaints officer shall notify the complainant and the person complained against in writing of the opinion on the merits of the complaint, whether or not accompanied by recommendations.
6. If the complaint has been settled satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person complained about shall sign the judgment on the merits of the complaint.
Article 6 Confidentiality and free handling of complaints
1. The complaints officer and the person about whom a complaint has been made shall observe confidentiality when handling the complaint.
2. The complainant shall not be charged for the costs of handling the complaint.
Article 7 responsibilities
1. The complaints officer is responsible for the timely handling of the complaint.
2. The person complained about shall keep the complaints officer informed about any contact and possible resolution.
3. The complaints officer shall keep the complainant informed about the resolution of the complaint.
4. The complaints officer shall maintain the complaint file.
Article 8 complaint registration
1. The complaints officer shall register the complaint, including the subject of the complaint.
2. A complaint may be divided into several subjects.