In this complaints procedure:
complaint means any dissatisfaction with an attorney or a person working under an attorney’s responsibility, expressed in writing by or on behalf of a client and concerning how a request for services had been dealt with, the quality of the services or the amount invoiced, other than a complaint as described in paragraph 4 of the Attorneys Act (Advocatenwet)
complainant means the client or his representative who makes a complaint
complaints officer means the attorney handling the complaints procedure
- This complaints procedure applies to any agreement of instruction (overeenkomst van opdracht) between Forest Flint and its clients.
- Every attorney at Forest Flint is responsible for handling complaints in accordance with the firm’s complaints procedure.
The purpose of this complaints procedure is to:
- establish a procedure for handling client complaints constructively within a reasonable period of time
- establish a procedure to determine the cause of a client’s complaint
- maintain and improve existing relationships by correctly dealing with complaints
- train employees to respond to complaints with the client’s needs in mind
- improve our quality of service
4. Information at the start of services
- This complaints procedure is available at www.forestflint.com. Before providing services to a client, the attorney informs the client that Forest Flint has a complaints procedure which applies to the services.
- Complaints that have been dealt with but not resolved will be submitted to the competent court in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
5. Internal complaints procedure
- A client complaint that is submitted to Forest Flint will be forwarded to one of the firm’s experienced attorneys who is not personally involved in the matter and will act as the complaints officer for that case.
- The complaints officer will duly notify the attorney who the complaint relates to and will give both the complainant and the attorney an opportunity to provide an explanation.
- The attorney who the complaint relates to will try to seek a solution together with the client, before or after the complaints officer’s intervention.
- The complaints officer will handle the complaint within four weeks of receipt of the complaint. If this deadline is not met, the complaints officer will inform the client of this and explain the reasons. The complaints officer will also set a new deadline for handling the case.
- The complaints officer will notify the complainant and the attorney in writing of the decision on the merits of the complaint, with recommendations if appropriate.
- If the complaint has been satisfactorily resolved, the decision on the merits of the complaint will be signed by the complainant, the complaints officer and the attorney who the complaint relates to.
6. Confidentiality & no-handling fee
- The complaints officer and the attorney who the complaint relates to will keep the complaint confidential.
- The client does not owe any fee for the handling of the complaint.
- The complaints officer is responsible for the timely resolution of the complaint.
- The attorney who the complaint relates to keeps the complaints officer informed of any contacts with the client and any potential resolution.
- The complaints officer keeps the complainant informed of progress on the handling of the complaint.
- The complaints officer keeps the complaint file up to date.
8. Complaint registration
- The complaints officer files the complaint and the substance of the complaint.
- A complaint may be divided into several subject matters.
- The complaints officer reports regularly on the progress of handling complaints and will make recommendations to prevent new complaints and to improve procedures.
- At least once a year, the complaints officer’s reports and recommendations are discussed and submitted for decision-making within Forest Flint.
Version 1.0 – August 2020