Office complaints procedure Alalim Legal B.V.

Office complaints procedure as in article 6.28 of the Legal Profession Bye-law (‘Verordening op de advocatuur’)

Article 1 Definitions

In this complaints procedure (hereafter the “Procedure”), the following definitions apply:

  • Law Firm: the law firm Alalim Legal B.V. registered with the Dutch Bar Association (Orde van Advocaten);
  • Lawyer: the lawyer earmarked as lead lawyer for the case and/or assignment;
  • Client: a party that has completed the Law Firm intake process, or has engaged the Law Firm;
  • Complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction made by or on behalf of the client towards the Lawyer or the persons working under his/her responsibility about the conclusion and execution of an assignment or agreement, the quality of the service or the amount billed, not being a Complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Act on Advocates ("Advocatenwet");
  • Complainant: the Client or its representative who submits or communicates a Complaint;
  • Complaints officer: the appointed individual responsible for and in charge of handling the Complaint.

Article 2 Scope

  1. The Procedure applies to every assignment agreement between the Law Firm and its Clients.
  2. The Director of the Law Firm handles the Complaint in accordance with the Procedure.

Article 3 Objectives

This Procedure aims to:
a.             establish a procedure to deal constructively with client Complaints within a reasonable period of time;
b.             establish a procedure to determine the causes of client Complaints;
c.             maintain and improve existing relationships through good complaint handling;
d.            train employees in responding to Complaints in a client-oriented manner;
e.             improve the quality of service with the help of Complaint handling and analysis.

Article 4 Information At The Start Of The Service 

  1. This Procedure has been made public on the website of the Law Firm. The General Terms & Conditions of the Law Firm also make a reference to this Procedure. During the intake and engagement process, the Lawyer informs the client that the Law Firm has a Procedure and that this applies to the services of the Law Firm.
  2. Complaints referred to in Article 1 of this Procedure that have not been resolved after being handled in accordance with this Procedure shall be submitted to 1 (one) arbitrator in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the NAI. The place of arbitration shall be The Hague and the procedure shall  be conducted in the English language, unless there is another common language between the parties.

Article 5 Internal Complaint Procedure

  1. In the event a client has any Complaints regarding issued invoices, such Complaints must be made within 14 (fourteen) days of the invoice date. If a concern or Complaint relates to the quality of the delivered service, non-conformity of the delivered service, or pertains to an issue of non-compliance with the assignment or agreement, then such Complaint must be made within 30 (thirty) days after delivery of the service complained about.
  2. In order to assure that the Law Firm can adequately deal with any such Complaint, it must be made in writing and include an explanation with details of the flaws, the non-conformities, or the claimed non-compliance with the agreement or assignment, addressed to Alalim Legal and sent, with a confirmation of receipt, to the certified e-mail address of the Lawyer, with a copy to, and an additional copy to the finance department where the Complaint relates to invoicing.
  3. If a client approaches the Law Firm with a Complaint, the Complaint will be forwarded to the Director of the Law Firm, who will act as the Complaints Officer.
  4. The Complaints Officer shall inform the person complained about of the submission of the Complaint and shall give the Complainant and the person complained about the opportunity to explain their respective perspective regarding the Complaint.
  5. The person complained about must try to reach a solution together with the Client, whether before or after the intervention of the Complaints Officer.
  6. The Complaints Officer shall deal with the Complaint within 4 (four) weeks of receipt of the Complaint or, stating the reasons, inform the Complainant of any extension of this period, stating the timeframe within which an opinion will be given to the Complaint.
  7. The Complaints Officer shall inform the Complainant and the person complained about in writing of the opinion on the merits of the Complaint, whether or not accompanied by recommendations.
  8. If the Complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily, the Complainant, the Complaints Officer and the person complained about will sign the opinion on the Complaint's merits.
  9. The formalities of this article apply under penalty of forfeiture of rights ("verval van recht").

Article 6 Confidentiality And Free Complaint Handling

  1. The Complaints Officer and the person complained about shall observe confidentiality when handling Complaints.
  2. The Complainant shall not be charged any fees for the internal handling of the Complaint.

Article 7 Responsibilities

  1. The Complaints Officer is responsible for the timely handling of the Complaint.
  2. The person complained about will keep the Complaints Officer informed about any contact and a possible solution.
  3. The Complaints Officer keeps the Complainant informed about the handling of the Complaint.
  4. The Complaints Officer keeps the Complaint file.

Article 8 Registration of Complaints

  1. The Complaints Officer registers the Complaint with the Complaint subject and details.
  2. A Complaint can be divided into several topics.
  3. The Law Firm management shall review received Complaints and the Procedure periodically and list improvements and recommendations to prevent new Complaints, and discuss the findings with the team at the office for implementation of the improvements.