Suggestions for improvement and complaints procedure of Cees Advocaten N.V.
Our lawyers will do their utmost to serve you optimally. In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with the service provided by your lawyer and/or have suggestions for improving the service and/or wish to lodge a complaint, please contact Jan Hiemstra or John Dullaart. They act as internal complaints officers and if you contact one of them, they will be happy to receive your suggestions or invite you for a meeting.
However, you can also apply to the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession (Geschillencommissie Advocatuur) to which we are affiliated or to the Dean of the Bar Association of The Hague (Orde van advocaten 's-Gravenhage).
Our internal complaints procedure is as follows.
Article 1 Definitions
Cees' complaints procedure is in accordance with Article 6.28 of the Legal Profession Regulations. In this office complaints procedure, the following terms have the following meanings:
- Complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client vis-à-vis the lawyer or the persons working under their responsibility with respect to the conclusion and performance of a contract for services, the quality of the services or the amount of the fee statement, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Counsel Act.
- Complainant: the client or their representative who makes a complaint.
- Complaints Officer: the staff member in charge of handling the complaint.
Article 2 Scope of application
This office complaints procedure applies to any agreement for services between Cees Advocaten and the client. Every lawyer of Cees Advocaten handles any complaints in accordance with the office complaints procedure.
Article 3 Objectives
This office complaints procedure serves the following objectives:
- To establish a procedure to constructively deal with client complaints within a reasonable time;
- To establish a procedure to identify the causes of client complaints;
- To maintain and improve existing relationships through proper complaints handling;
- To train staff in client-focused responses to complaints;
- To improve the quality of service through complaints handling and analysis.
Article 4 Information upon commencement of service provision
- This office complaints procedure has been made public. Before entering into the contract for services, the lawyer will inform the client that the office has a complaints procedure in place and that this procedure applies to the services.
- In its general terms and conditions, Cees Advocaten has included to which independent party or authority a complaint that has not been resolved after treatment may be submitted in order to obtain a binding decision, and has disclosed this with the engagement letter.
- Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this office complaints procedure that have not been resolved after treatment will be submitted to the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession.
Article 5 Internal complaints procedure
If a client contacts the office with a complaint, the complaint will be forwarded to Jan Hiemstra and John Dullaart, who act as complaints officers. The complaints officer will notify the person about whom a complaint was made of the filing of the complaint and give the complainant and the person complained about the opportunity to explain the complaint. The person about whom a complaint has been made will try to find a solution together with the client, after intervention by the complaints officer or otherwise.
The complaints officer will handle the complaint within four weeks of receiving it, or will notify the complainant of any deviation from this term, stating the term within which an opinion on the complaint will be given. The complaints officer will notify the complainant and the person about whom a complaint was made in writing of the opinion on the merits of the complaint, accompanied by recommendations or otherwise.
If the complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint was made sign the opinion on the merits of the complaint.
Article 6 Confidentiality and complaints handling at no cost
The complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint was made will maintain confidentiality during the handling of the complaint. The complainant will not be liable for payment of the costs of handling the complaint.
Article 7 Responsibilities
The complaints officer is responsible for the timely handling of the complaint. The person about whom the complaint was made will keep the complaints officer informed about any contact and a possible solution. The complaints officer will keep the complainant informed about handling of the complaint. The complaints officer will keep the complaints file up to date.
Article 8 Registration of complaints
The complaints officer registers the complaint and the topic of the complaint. A complaint can be divided into several topics. At least once a year, the reports and recommendations are discussed at the office and submitted for decision; recommendations are made for the prevention of new complaints as well as for the improvement of procedures.