Complaints procedure

w+o advocaten aims at providing high-quality services. In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with the services performed by a lawyer on behalf of w+o advocaten, or with an invoice sent to you by w+o advocaten, we kindly ask you to inform us of your complaint in accordance with the below.

Set out below is the complaints procedure applied by w+o advocaten, based on the rules of the Dutch Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten).

  1. Definitions
    1. “Advocaat” means a lawyer who is a member of the Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten and works for w+o advocaten.
    2. “Client” is the client or the representative of the client who files a complaint against an Advocaat or against a person who is supervised by an Advocaat.
    3. “Complaint” means any dissatisfaction with an Advocaat or with a person who is supervised by an Advocaat, expressed in writing by (or on behalf of) a client and concerning the way a request for services has been dealt with, the quality of services, or the amount invoiced, other than a complaint within the meaning of paragraph 4 of the Advocatenwet (Van de Tuchtrechtspraak).
    4. “Complaints Officer” means an Advocaat who is the person to whom the Firm’s partners have delegated management of the response to any Complaint.
    5. “Firm” means w+o advocaten.
    6. “Procedure” means this complaints procedure.
  2. Scope
    1. This Procedure applies to any and all services provided to any and all Clients by one or more Advocaten at w+o advocaten.
    2. Every Advocaat will respond to any Complaint in accordance with this Procedure.
  3. Purpose
    The purpose of this Procedure is to:

    1. establish a procedure for constructively dealing with a Complaint within a reasonable period of time;
    2. establish a procedure for determining the cause of a Complaint;
    3. maintain and improve existing relationships with Clients by dealing with Complaints correctly;
    4. demonstrate Advocaten and other staff of the Firm how to respond to Complaints with the Client’s needs in mind; and
    5. improve the quality of services using Complaint handling and Complaint analysis.
  4. Information at on-boarding
    1. This Procedure is published on https://www.wo-legal.nl. Prior to entering into an engagement with a Client, the Advocaat shall inform the client that the Firm uses a complaints procedure and that this Procedure applies to any and all services provided to that Client.
  5. Procedure
    1. Every Complaint must be passed, as soon as it is received, to the Complaints Officer.
    2. The Complaints Officer will inform the Advocaat to whom the Complaint relates of the Complaint and will give him or her the opportunity to explore the issue with the Client and to find a resolution.
    3. The Client will have further opportunity to explain the reason for his Compliant.
    4. The Advocaat to whom the complaint relates will keep the Complaints Officer informed of his or her contact and correspondence with the Client and of any possible resolution.
    5. The Complaints Officer will keep the Client, or ensure that the Client is kept, informed of the handling of the Complaint.
    6. The Complaints Officer will finalise his or her view of the Complaint within four (4) weeks of the date it was received by the Firm. If this deadline cannot be met, the Complaints Officer will notify the Client accordingly and explain the reasons, also specifying a new deadline for finalising the Complaint.
    7. When the Complaints Officer has finalised his or her view of the Complaint, he or she will write to the Client and the Advocaat, setting out his or her view in relation to the Complaint and may make recommendations.
    8. If the Complaint has been satisfactorily resolved, the Client and the Advocaat concerned will be asked to countersign the Complaints Officer’s letter referred to in paragraph 5.7 above.
    9. No fees or costs will be charged to the Client in respect of the Firm’s handling of the Complaint within this Procedure.
    10. All those persons involved in dealing with the Complaint will maintain Client confidentiality.
    11. A Client who is dissatisfied with the Firm’s handling of a Complaint may refer the Complaint to the competent court as stipulated in the Firm’s applicable general terms and conditions.
  6. Complaints record
    1. The Complaints Officer will ensure that a proper record of each Complaint and its subject matter(s) is kept by the Firm’s partners.
    2. He or she will periodically review the handling of Complaints and make recommendations for preventing new Complaints and for improving related procedures.
    3. At least once a year, the Complaints Officer’s reports and recommendations will be discussed and reviewed by the partners of the Firm.