Terms of Business
Making a complaint
You should register the complaint with the person dealing with your matter in the first instance. If this does not resolve satisfactory, then the complaint should be escalated to either:
1) Zahid Hussein; the contact nominated by the firm to handle accountancy related issues and complaints.
2) Leanne Consiglio, the Client Care Director and the contact nominated by the firm to handle solicitor related issues and complaints.
3) Sam Wadling; the contact nominated by the firm to handle architecture related issues and complaints.
Zahid, Sam and Leanne are responsible for ensuring that complaints are handled effectively and in accordance with this procedure. This procedure will also apply to prospective clients who we have refused to provide a service to or persistently or unreasonably offered an unwanted service to but only if the complainant has evidence to show that we did not have reasonable grounds to do so.
The contacts nominated by the firm should keep a file / register of all complaints. The register/file include all the required details and the register is signed off when the complaint has been finalised. The contacts review the complaints data and it also forms part of the Annual Risk Review. The complaints are reviewed to determine if there are any training requirements, changes in systems and processes which are required. This forms part of the Annual Risk Review.
Investigating the complaint
- We will acknowledge the complaint within seven days.
- We will conduct a full investigation and an independent review of the matter.
- We aim to respond in full within 28 days. However, if the complaint is of a more complex nature we will require more time but we will let the complainant know when they will receive a full response.
- We will reply to the complainant, usually in writing to tell him/her of our views on the complaint and how we propose to resolve it, hopefully to the complainant’s satisfaction, including appropriate redress, this could include a reduction in fees if appropriate, compensation of a gesture of goodwill. The client will also be advised in what timescale they will be given an initial/substantive response.
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome, or the way the complaint has been handled, the complainant may write to the contacts who will make such further investigations as are necessary.
Escalated Accountancy complaints
The contacts will inform the complainant of the conclusions and any alternative proposals to resolve the complaint, usually within 28 days of this being referred to him.
If the accountancy related issue or complaint is still unresolved at this stage, the complainant may take their complaint to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, details listed below as follows:
The complainant can either complete the complaint form at icaew.com/complaints, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to them at this address: Professional Conduct department ICAEW Metropolitan House 321 Avebury Boulevard Milton Keynes, MK9 2FZ.
Please note the below Exclusions:
a) we shall not be obliged to comply with paragraph 22 above in relation to any Dispute in which we seek
b) an order or award (whether interim or final) restraining you from doing any act or compelling you to do any act; or a judgement or award for a liquidated sum to which here is no arguable defence (provided that the exception shall cease to apply and the Dispute may be referred to arbitration on the application of either party if the court decides that you should have permission to defend the claim); or
c) the enforcement of any agreement reached or any binding order, award, determination or decision made pursuant to paragraph 22 above, nor shall anything in this paragraph inhibit us at any time from serving any form of demand or notice or from commencing or continuing with any bankruptcy, winding up or other insolvency proceedings.
Escalated Solicitor complaints
If still solicitor related issue or complaint is still unresolved at this stage, the complainant may take their complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, you will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint or alternatively 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6 October 2010 or was more than 6 years ago).
We will record and report centrally all complaints received from clients.
We will identify the cause of any problems of which the client has complained offering appropriate redress and correcting any unsatisfactory procedures.
The Legal Ombudsman is an independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007 to deal with complaints against Solicitors.
The Legal Ombudsman may:
- Investigate the quality of professional service supplied by a solicitor to a client.
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct.
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has unreasonably refused to supply a professional service to a prospective client.
- Investigate allegations that a solicitor has persistently or unreasonably offered a professional service that the client does not want.
Before it will consider a complaint the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the firm’s internal Complaints Procedure has been exhausted. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that the firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further.
The Legal Ombudsman’s address is:
PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ; telephone, 0300 555 0333; website, www.legalombudsman.org.uk; or email email@example.com
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Escalated Architecture complaints
If the architecture related issue or complaint is still unresolved at this stage, the complainant may take their complaint to RIBA, procedure listed below as follows:
RIBA Code of Conduct
As an alternative to seeking some form of redress, you can make a formal allegation of professional misconduct or incompetence against a RIBA member or Chartered Practice. All RIBA members must abide by the Code of Professional Conduct and all Chartered Practices must abide by the Code of Practice. If you think a RIBA member or Chartered Practice has breached the relevant Code, you may wish to make a formal complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that RIBA members and Chartered Practices are expected to have an internal written complaints handling procedure available to potential complainants upon request. The RIBA will not consider formal complaints until such time as the internal complaints handling procedure has been exhausted.
Regulatory Information and Diversity
Z group is the trading name of ZGRP Limited, a limited company registered in England & Wales. Registration Number 9168494. The Registered Address is Ibex House, 162-164 Arthur Road, London, SW19 8AQ. Z group, including Solicitors, Chartered Accountants, Chartered Architects and Chartered Surveyors, is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA Number 619491 as an alternative business structure. Our other regulators are the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales) and RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).
A list of directors is available for inspection at our registered office. Please note that the term “partner” or “partners” of Z group or ZGRP Limited indicates a Director of ZGRP Limited.
We collect, report and publish data on the diversity of our workforce. Please contact us at Leanne@zgrp.co.uk if you would like to receive a copy of our latest report.
We have been made aware that there have been an increasing number of scams and fraudsters using the names of law firms and their staff with the aim of obtaining monies from credulous recipients of email communications.
The most common element is the redirecting of monies using emails which appear to come from our firm.
Please check the validity of any emails you receive requesting money on account and/or details of a particular transaction by speaking to the person dealing with your matter directly. Please also check the bank details you have for us by way of a telephone call to our office before remitting any funds to our client account.
If you believe you have received any unexpected requests purporting to be from us in relation to funds, please contact us as a matter of urgency.
Criminal Finances Act statement of compliance
As a firm, we value our reputation for ethical behaviour and for financial probity and reliability. We recognise that over and above the commission of any crime, any involvement in the facilitation of tax evasion will also reflect adversely on our image and reputation.
We do not tolerate tax evasion, or the facilitation thereof in any circumstances, whether committed by or facilitated by a client, personnel or associated persons/companies.
We are committed to fighting tax evasion and have rigorous policies and procedures in place to detect and prevent the facilitation of tax evasion offences.
We provide regular training on the requirements of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 to all personnel.
We require all personnel to demonstrate the highest standards of honesty at all times and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken wherever tax evasion or the facilitation thereof by any personnel has been proven.
We undertake due diligence on all associated persons/companies to mitigate the risk of facilitation of tax evasion offences and, as part of our due diligence procedures, all agreements with third parties contain suitable provisions to enable termination of such agreements where associated persons/companies are not complying with the provisions of the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
ZGPR Limited (Trading as Z group)