Asselbergs & Klinkhamer in-house complaints handling procedure - Asselbergs & Klinkhamer advocaten

Article 1: definitions

In this in-house complaints handling procedure, the following definitions apply:

  • complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client in respect of the attorney or the person operating under the authority of the attorney, concerning the establishment and implementation of and agreement for the provision of services, the quality of the service provision or the amount of the fee statement, that is not a complaint as intended in section 4 of the Counsel Act;
  • complainant: the client or his/her representative issuing a complaint;
  • complaints officer: the attorney charged with handling the complaint;

Article 2: scope of application

2.1 This in-house complaints handling procedure applies to any agreement for the provision of services between Asselbergs & Klinkhamer and the client.

2.2 Any attorney at law at Asselbergs & Klinkhamer will ensure that all complaints are handled in accordance with the in-house complaints handling procedure.

Article 3: objectives

The purpose of this in-house complaints handling procedure is:

a. to lay down a procedure to ensure that complaints from clients are handled within a reasonable term and in a constructive manner;
b. to lay down a procedure for identifying the causes of complaints from clients;
c. to maintain and improve existing relationships by means of thorough complaint handling;
d. to train employees in providing a client-friendly response to complaints;
e. to improve the quality of the services provided by means of complaint handling and complaint analysis.

Article 4: information at the start of service provision

4.1 before entering into an agreement for the provision of services, the attorney at law must inform the client that the firm operates an in-house complaints handling procedure and that all services provided are subject to that procedure.

4.2 In its General Terms and Conditions, Asselbergs & Klinkhamer has specified to which independent party or body a complaint may be submitted which following handling according to this procedure has not been solved, in order to obtain a judgement, and has made that party or body known at the moment of order confirmation.

4.3 Complaints as intended in article 1 of this in-house complaints handling procedure that are not solved following handling according to this procedure will be submitted to the court, unless the complaint is of a strictly disciplinary nature: in that case, the complaints handling procedure of the Netherlands Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten) shall apply.

Article 5: internal complaint handling procedure

5.1 If a client approaches the firm with a complaint, the complaint will be passed on to Hans van Oijen, who will thereby act as complaints officer.

5.2 The complaints officer informs the person about whom the complaint has been submitted of the submission of a complaint, and will offer the complainant and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted an opportunity to further explain the complaint.

5.3 The person about whom the complaint has been made, together with the client, will attempt to arrive at a solution, with or without the intervention of the complaints officer.

5.4 The complaints officer will handle the complaint within four weeks following receipt of the complaint, or will notify the complainant of any deviation from this term, specifying reasons, and notifying the term within which a judgement on the complaint will be issued.

5.5 The complaints officer will inform the complainant and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted in writing of the judgement concerning the merits of the complaint, possibly accompanied by recommendations.

5.6 If the complaint has been handled satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted will sign the judgement concerning the merits of the complaint.

Article 6: confidentiality and free complaint handling

6.1 The complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted will maintain confidentiality with regard to the handling of the complaint.

6.2 The complainant will owe no payment for the costs of handling the complaint.

Article 7: responsibilities

7.1 The complaints officer is responsible for the timely handling of the complaint.

7.2 The person about whom the complaint has been made will keep the complaints officer informed of any contact and any possible solution.

7.3 The complaints officer will keep the complainant informed about the handling of the complaint.

7.4 The complaints officer will maintain the file relating to the complaint.

Article 8: record of complaints

8.1 The complaints officer will log the complaint, specifying the subject of the complaint.

8.2 A complaint may be classified in multiple categories.

8.3 The complaints officer will periodically issue a report on the handling of complaints and recommendations to prevent new complaints, and to improve procedures.

8.4 At least once a year the reports and recommendations will be discussed within the firm, and submitted for adoption.