TEN Advocaten N.V’s complaints procedure
Article 1 definitions
For the purposes of this office complaints procedure, the following definitions are applicable:
– Complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client towards the attorney at law or persons working under the attorney’s responsibility regarding the conclusion and performance of an assignment agreement, the quality of the services provided or the amount of the bill, not being a complaint as referred to in section 4 of the Act on Advocates.
– Complainant: the client or his representative who submits a complaint;
– Complaints Officer: the lawyer in charge of handling the complaint;
Article 2 Scope of application
1. This office complaints procedure applies to every agreement for services between TEN Advocaten N.V. and the client.
2. Every lawyer at TEN Advocaten N.V. bears responsibility to handle complaints in accordance with the office complaints procedure.
Article 3 Purpose
The purpose of this complaints procedure is: a. to establish a procedure to deal constructively with complaints from clients within a reasonable period of time; b. to establish a procedure to determine the causes of complaints from clients; c. to maintain and improve existing relationships by means of thorough complaints handling; d. to train employees to respond to complaints in a client-oriented fashion; e. to improve the quality of service by means of complaint handling & analysis.
Article 4 information at the start of service provision
1. This office complaints procedure is publicly available. Before entering into the agreement for services, the lawyer shall remind the client that the practice applies an office complaints procedure and that this applies to the service provision.
2. TEN Advocaten N.V’s General Terms & Conditions states that any complaint received, which it fails to resolve, shall be submitted to the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession. Complaints or claims for damages in excess of € 25,000 shall be submitted to the competent court in the place where TEN Advocaten N.V. has its registered office.
Article 5 internal complaints procedure
1. If a client approaches the office with a complaint, it should be forwarded to Inge Mooren-van Weereld, who serves in the capacity of complaints officer.
2. The complaints officer shall inform the person about whom a complaint has been made of the submission of the complaint, and shall offer the complainant and the person about whom a complaint has been made the opportunity to discuss the complaint.
3. The person about whom a complaint has been made shall endeavour to find a solution together with the client, either before or following intervention by the complaints officer.
4. The complaints officer shall deal with the complaint within four weeks of receipt of the complaint or shall notify the complainant of any deviation from this term, stating both the reason for the delay and the term within which the complaint may expect to receive a written response.
5. The complaints officer shall issue written notification to both the complainant and the person about whom the complaint was submitted, regarding the practice’s position on the merits of the complaint, which may also be accompanied by recommendations.
6. If the complaint is settled to mutual satisfaction, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint was made shall sign the statement on the merits of the complaint.
Article 6: confidentiality and complaint handling free of charge
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 any fee for the costs of handling the complaint.
Article 7 responsibilities
1. The complaints officer bears responsibility for the timely handling of the complaint.
2. The person about whom the complaint was made shall keep the complaints officer informed of any contact with the complainant and possible resolution.
3. The complaints officer shall keep the complainant informed of the handling of the complaint.
4. The complaints officer shall update the complaint file.
Article 8 registration of complaints
1. The complaints officer shall register both the complaint and the subject of the complaint.
2. A complaint may comprise several subjects.
3. The complaints officer shall report regularly on the handling of complaints, while issuing recommendations designed to prevent future complaints and improve procedures.
4. At least once a year, the reports and recommendations shall be discussed at the practice and submitted for decision-making.