Article 1 – Definitions
The following definitions apply to our firm’s complaints procedure:
- complaint: each written expression of dissatisfaction from or on behalf of the client against the lawyer or persons working under the lawyer’s responsibility about the formation and the execution of a contract for services, the quality of the service provision or the level of the fees, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Netherlands Counsel Act;
- complainant: the client or the client’s representative making a complaint;
- complaints officer: the lawyer charged with handling the complaint.
Article 2 – Scope
1. This firm’s complaints procedure is applicable to every contract for services between Langelaar Klinkhamer Advocaten B.V. and the client.
2. Langelaar Klinkhamer Advocaten B.V. shall ensure complaint handling in accordance with the firm’s complaints procedure.
Article 3 – Objectives
The objectives of our firm’s complaints procedure are:
a) to record the procedure for handling complaints from clients in a constructive manner within a reasonable period of time;
b) to record a procedure for establishing the cause of complaints from clients;
c) to retain and improve existing relationships by means of effective complaint handling;
d) to train staff in client-focussed responses to complaints;
e) to improve the quality of the service provision by means of complaint handling and complaint analysis.
Article 4 – Information on commencement of service
1. This firm’s complaints procedure is made public. Prior to entering into a contract for services the lawyer informs the client that the firm has a complaints procedure and that this will be applicable to the service.
2. Via its general terms and conditions, Langelaar Klinkhamer Advocaten B.V. has stated which independent party or body can be approached if a complaint remains unresolved after it has been handled in order that a binding decision can be obtained and has notified this in its confirmation of instruction.
3. Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this firm’s complaints procedure that remain unresolved after handling shall be presented to the District Court of Rotterdam. The governing law is Dutch law.
Article 5 – Internal complaints procedure
1. If a client approaches the firm with a complaint, the complaint shall be passed on to Mr. E.C.G. Klinkhamer, who shall then act as complaints officer.
2. The complaints officer informs the person who is the subject of the complaint about the submission of the complaint and gives the complainant and person who is the subject of the complaint the opportunity to explain the complaint.
3. The person who is the subject of the complaint attempts to achieve a resolution with the client, which may be with or without the intervention of the complaints officer.
4. The complaints officer deals with the complaint within four weeks after the complaint has been received or if this period is to be deviated from the complaints officer shall inform the complainant of the reasons for this and state a period within which a ruling on the complaint shall be provided.
5. The complaints officer informs the complainant and the person who is the subject of the complaint in writing of the decision about the validity of the complaint, which may or may not be accompanied with recommendations.
6. If the complaint is dealt with satisfactorily, the decision about the validity of the complaint is signed by the complainant, the complaints officer and the person who is the subject of the complaint.
Article 6 – Confidentiality and cost-free complaints handling
1. The complaints officer and the person who is the subject of the complaint maintain confidentiality with regard to the handling of the complaint.
2. The complainant is not liable for paying any costs for the handing of the complaint.
Article 7 – Responsibilities
1. The complaints officer is responsible for the timely handling of the complaint.
2. The person who is the subject of the complaint keeps the complaints officer up to date with regard to any contact and a potential resolution.
3. The complaints officer keeps the complainant updated about the handling of the complaint.
4. The complaints officer maintains a complaints file.
Article 8 – Complaint recording
1. The complaints officer records the complaint and the associated subject of the complaint.
2. A complaint can be classed under several subjects.
3. The complaints officer periodically issues a report about the handling of complaints and makes recommendations to avoid new complaints and to improve the procedures.
4. The reports and the recommendations are reviewed by the firm and presented for decision making at least once per year.