Internal complaints procedure

1. Definitions

In this Complaints Procedure the following words shall mean:

2. Scope

2.1 This Complaints Procedure is applicable to all agreements with and instructions to ABLD and the client.

2.2 The Complaints Officer appointed by or through ABLD shall ensure that Complaints are dealt with in accordance with the Complaints Procedure.

3. Objectives

This Complaints Procedure has the following objectives:

  1. To formalize a procedure for dealing with client Complaints constructively and within a reasonable time frame;
  2. To describe a procedure for establishing the causes for Complaints from clients;
  3. To maintain and improve existing relationships by properly dealing with Complaints;
  4. To train employees to respond to Complaints appropriately;
  5. To improve quality of service by dealing with and investigating Complaints.

4. Information at the start of providing services

4.1 This Complaints Procedure is made public. The advocaat will inform the client before entering into an agreement for the provision of services that ABLD has a Complaints Procedure which is applicable.

4.2 ABLD, in its applicable ABLD General Conditions, indicates that a Complaint that has not been dealt with satisfactorily can be submitted to obtain a binding ruling and confirms this when entering into an agreement.

4.3 Complaints that have not been dealt with satisfactorily may be submitted for arbitration to the Geschillencommissie Advocatuur (Advocates Complaints Board) in The Hague, Netherlands.

5. The Complaints Procedure

5.1 If a client informs ABLD of a Complaint, such Complaint will be passed on to the Complaints Officer.

5.2 The Complaints Officer will inform the person who is the subject of the Complaint and invite both that person and the Complainant to provide further information.

5.3 The person who is the subject of the Complaint will strive to agree on a solution with the Complainant, if necessary with the intervention of the Complaints Officer.

5.4 The Complaints Officer will deal with the Complaint within four weeks of receipt of the Complaint or will provide the Complainant with an explanation if such period of time is insufficient and indicate an alternative period of time.

5.5 The Complaints Officer will inform in writing the Complainant and the person who is the subject of the Complaint about the findings and where appropriate with recommendations.

5.6 If the Complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily, the Complainant, the Complaints Officer and the person who is the subject of the Complaint will sign the findings.

6. Confidentiality and cost-free procedure

6.1 The Complaints Officer and the person who is the subject of the Complaint will deal with the Complaint confidentially.

6.2 The Complainant will not be charged by ABLD for dealing with the Complaint.

7. Responsibilities

7.1 The Complaints Officer will be responsible for dealing with the Complaint timely.

7.2 The person who is the subject of the Complaint will keep the Complaints Officer informed of any contact and any possible solution.

7.3 The Complaints Officer will keep the Complainant informed about progress of the procedure to deal with the Complaint.

7.4 The Complaints Officer will maintain the Complaints file.

8. Registration of Complaints

8.1 The Complaints Officer will register the Complaint and the subject thereof.

8.2 A Complaint may be registered in more than one category.

8.3 The Complaints Officer will report periodically on the handling of Complaints and provide recommendations for preventing or minimizing new Complaints as well as recommendations for improving procedures.

8.4 ABLD will review the reports and recommendations at least once per year and decide thereupon.