Article 1 – definitions in this office complaints procedure is understood to mean:

  • Complaint: every written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client towards the lawyer or the persons working under his responsibility about the realization and execution of an assignment agreement, the quality of the service or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Advocatenwet;
  • Complainant: the client or his representative who makes a complaint;
  • Complaints officer: the lawyer who is responsible for handling the complaint

Article 2 – scope of application

  1. This office complaints procedure applies to every contract agreement between &ACT and client.
  2. Every lawyer of &ACT is responsible for handling complaints in accordance with the office complaints procedure.

Article 3 – objectives

This office complaints procedure is aimed at:

  1. to establish a procedure to handle customer complaints within a reasonable time in a constructive way;
  2. to establish a procedure to determine the causes of complaints from clients;
  3. maintaining and improving existing relationships through good complaint handling;
  4. train employees in client-oriented response to complaints;
  5. improvement of the quality of the services by means of complaint handling and complaint analysis.

Article 4 – information when requesting services

  1. This office complaints procedure has been made public. Before entering into the contract for services, the lawyer points out to the client that the office applies a complaints procedure and that this applies to the service provision.
  2. &ACT has included in the contract of assignment with reference to the office website to which independent party or body a complaint that is not resolved after handling can be submitted in order to obtain a binding decision and has indicated this in the order confirmation.

Article 5 – arbitration if parties do not agree

Complaints as referred to in article 1 of this office complaints regulation that have not been resolved after treatment are a dispute that will be settled in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, by one arbitrator and the place of the arbitration will be Amsterdam. are exclusively submitted to arbitration, with 1 arbitrator, place Amsterdam, in accordance with the NAI regulations. Combining the arbitration with another arbitration, as provided for in art. 1046 Rv and art. 39 of the NAI Arbitration Rules is excluded.

Article 6 – internal complaint procedure

  1. If a client approaches the office with a complaint, this complaint is passed on to the most experienced partner of &ACT who is not involved in the case or dispute, who in that case acts as complaints officer.
  2. The complaints officer notifies the person who is the subject of the complaint about the filing of the complaint and gives the complainant and the person against whom the complaint has been made an opportunity to explain the complaint.
  3. The person about whom the complaint is made will try to find a solution together with the client, with or without the intervention of the complaints officer.
  4. The complaints officer handles the complaint within four weeks of receipt of the complaint or informs the complainant of the deviation of this period, stating the reasons, and specifying the period within which a decision on the complaint is given.
  5. The complaints officer informs the complainant and the person about whom the complaint is made in writing of the opinion on the validity of the complaint, whether or not accompanied by recommendations.
  6. If the complaint has been handled satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person who is the subject of the complaint will sign the decision on the merits of the complaint.

Article 7 – confidentiality and free complaint handling

  1. The complaints officer and the person who is the subject of the complaint will observe confidentiality during the complaint handling.
  2. The complainant does not owe any compensation for the costs of handling the complaint.

Article 8 – responsibilities

  1. The complaints officer is responsible for the timely handling of the complaint.
  2. The person complained about keeps the complaints officer informed about possible 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 9 – complaint registration

  1. The complaints officer registers the complaint with the complaint subject.
  2. A complaint can be divided into several topics.
  3. The complaints officer periodically reports on the handling of the complaints and makes recommendations to prevent new complaints and to improve procedures.
  4. The reports and recommendations at the office are discussed at least once a year and submitted for decision-making.