(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
- This office complaints procedure applies to all contracts for services between Baker McKenzie and the client.
- 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:
- recording a procedure for settling complaints by clients within a reasonable time in a constructive manner;
- recording a procedure to determine the causes of complaints by clients;
- maintaining and improving existing relations by proper handling of complaints;
- training staff to respond to complaints in a client-oriented manner;
- improving the quality of the services with the aid of complaints handling and complaints analysis.
Article 4 Information at the Start of the Services
- This Office Complaints Procedure is published on the website of Baker McKenzie Amsterdam.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- The person complained about will attempt to reach a solution together with the client, whether or not after intervention by the Complaints Officer.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- The Complaints Officer and the person complained about must observe confidentiality during the handling of the complaint.
- The complainant will not be charged a fee for the costs of handling the complaint.
Article 7 Responsibilities
- The Complaints Officer is responsible for settling the complaint in a timely manner.
- The person complained about must keep the Complaints Officer informed of any contacts and a possible solution.
- The Complaints Officer must keep the complainant informed of the settlement of the complaint.
- The Complaints Officer must keep the complaints file up to date.
Article 8 Recording Complaints
- The Complaints Officer will record the complaint and the subject of the complaint.
- A complaint can be filed about several subjects.
- The Complaints Officer must report periodically on the handling of complaints and make recommendations to prevent new complaints as well as to improve procedures.
- The reports and recommendations must be discussed at Baker McKenzie at least once a year and presented for decision-making.