ARTICLE 1 DEFINITIONS
In this code, the following definitions shall apply:
Complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client with the attorney-at-law (hereafter attorney) or the persons working under his or her responsibility relating to the conclusion or execution of an engagement for the performance of professional services, regarding the quality of such services or the amounts invoiced, not being a complaint referred to in paragraph 4 of the Act on Advocates (Advocatenwet)
Complainant: the client or its representative that lodges a complaint
Complaints officer: the attorney responsible for the handling of the complaint
Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession: the committee set up by the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards (SGC) and that for Profession and Business (SGB) where the firm can present disputed and unpaid invoices and where price/quality disputes can be brought if the solution provided by the firm is found to be unsatisfactory
Complaints and Dispute Settlement Scheme for the Legal Profession: the procedure applied by the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession to settle disputes between attorneys and clients
Legal Profession Disputes Committee Rules: the regulations in which the working method of the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession is laid down.
ARTICLE 2 SCOPE
This complaints code shall be applicable to any contract between Maes Law B.V. and its affiliates and the client.
Each attorney working at Maes Law B.V. shall ensure that complaints shall be dealt with in accordance with this Code.
ARTICLE 3 OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the complaints code are to:
a) establish a code for dealing with complaints in a constructive manner within a reasonable time;
b) establish a code to determine the causes of complaints from clients;
c) maintain and improve existing relationships through proper handling of complaints;
d) train employees in client-oriented responses to complaints;
e) improve the quality of service using complaints management and complaint analysis.
ARTICLE 4 INFORMATION AT COMMENCEMENT OF ENGAGEMENT
This complaints code has been made public. Before accepting the engagement, the attorney shall inform the client that the firm has an office complaints procedure and that it applies to the provision of services.
Maes Law B.V. has included in the general terms and conditions to which independent party or body a complaint that has not been resolved after handling can be submitted in order to obtain a binding decision and has made this known with the confirmation of engagement.
Complaints as referred to in article 1 of this office complaints procedure that have not been resolved after handling shall be submitted to the Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession.
ARTICLE 5 INTERNAL COMPLAINTS CODE
If a client approaches the office with a complaint, the complaint shall be forwarded to Ms E. Lenting, who shall act as the complaints officer.
The complaints officer shall notify the subject of the complaint of the lodging of the complaint and shall give the complainant and the subject of the complaint the opportunity to provide an explanation.
The subject of the complaint shall attempt to reach a solution with the client either with or without the efforts of the complaints officer.
The complaints officer shall complete the procedure within four weeks after receipt of the complaint or inform the complainant of any deviation from this period and indicate the date by which a judgment on the complaint shall be given.
The complaints officer shall notify the complainant and subject of the complaint in writing of the opinion on the merits of the complaint. This judgement may or may not be accompanied by recommendations.
If the complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily, the complaints officer, the complainant and the subject of the complaint shall sign the judgment on the merits of the complaint.
ARTICLE 6 CONFIDENTIALITY AND COSTS
The complaints officer and the subject of the complaint shall observe confidentiality in the handling of the complaint.
There shall be no charge for the handling of the complaint.
ARTICLE 7 RESPONSIBILITIES
The complaints officer is responsible for the timely handling of the complaint.
The subject of the complaint shall keep the complaints officer informed of any contact and a possible solution.
The complaints officer shall keep the complainant informed of the handling of the complaint.
The complaints officer shall be responsible for a proper and up-to-date complaint file.
ARTICLE 8 COMPLAINT REGISTRATION
The complaints officer shall record the complaint and the subject of the complaint.
A complaint may be divided into multiple topics.
The complaints officer shall periodically report on the handling of the complaints and shall make recommendations to prevent new complaints and to improve procedures.
At least once a year the reports and recommendations shall be reviewed at the office and be submitted for decisiontaking