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(belonging to Article 6.28 of the Legal Professionals Regulations (Voda))

Article 1 Definitions of Terms

In this Office Complaints Procedure, the following terms mean:

  • complaint: any and all written expressions of dissatisfaction of or on behalf of the client to the lawyer or the persons working under his/her responsibility about the formation 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 Section 4 of the Advocates Act (Advw);
  • complainant: the client or the latter’s representative that makes a complaint;
  • Complaints Officer: the lawyer charged with handling the complaint;

Article 2 Scope of Application

  1. This office complaints procedure applies to all contracts for services between Baker McKenzie and the client.
  2. All lawyers of Baker McKenzie must see to it that complaints are handled in conformity with the Office Complaints Procedure.

Article 3 Purposes

This Office Complaints Procedure is for the purposes of:

  1. recording a procedure for settling complaints by clients within a reasonable time in a constructive manner;
  2. recording a procedure to determine the causes of complaints by clients;
  3. maintaining and improving existing relations by proper handling of complaints;
  4. training staff to respond to complaints in a client-oriented manner;
  5. improving the quality of the services with the aid of complaints handling and complaints analysis.

Article 4 Information at the Start of the Services

  1. This Office Complaints Procedure is published on the website of Baker McKenzie Amsterdam.
  2. Before entering into the contract for services, the lawyer points out to the client that the firm uses an office complaints procedure and that this applies to the services.
  3. Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this Office Complaints Procedure which have not been resolved after handling will be brought before the court.

Article 5 Internal Complaints Procedure

  1. If a client approaches the firm with a complaint, the client will be escorted to Chr. F. (Frank) Kroes, LL.M., who will thereupon act as Complaints Officer.
  2. The Complaints Officer will inform the person complained about of the filing of the complaint and give the complainant and the person complained about the opportunity to explain the complaint.
  3. The person complained about will attempt to reach a solution together with the client, whether or not after intervention by the Complaints Officer.
  4. The Complaints Officer must settle the complaint within four weeks of receipt of the complaint or notify the client of deviation from this period, stating the reasons, and stating a period within which an opinion will indeed be given on the complaint.
  5. The Complaints Officer must inform the complainant and the person complained about in writing of the opinion on the validity of the complaint, accompanied or not by recommendations.
  6. If the complaint has been settled to everyone’s satisfaction, the complainant, the Complaints Officer and the person complained about will sign the opinion on the validity of the complaint.

Article 6 Confidentiality and Complaint Handling Free of Charge

  1. The Complaints Officer and the person complained about must observe confidentiality during the handling of the complaint.
  2. The complainant will not be charged a fee for the costs of handling the complaint.

Article 7 Responsibilities

  1. The Complaints Officer is responsible for settling the complaint in a timely manner.
  2. The person complained about must keep the Complaints Officer informed of any contacts and a possible solution.
  3. The Complaints Officer must keep the complainant informed of the settlement of the complaint.
  4. The Complaints Officer must keep the complaints file up to date.

Article 8 Recording Complaints

  1. The Complaints Officer will record the complaint and the subject of the complaint.
  2. A complaint can be filed about several subjects.
  3. The Complaints Officer must report periodically on the handling of complaints and make recommendations to prevent new complaints as well as to improve procedures.
  4. The reports and recommendations must be discussed at Baker McKenzie at least once a year and presented for decision-making.