Article 1 Definitions
Defined terms in this complaints regulation, have the following meaning:
- complaint(s): any written expression of discord from or on behalf of the client towards the attorney or persons acting under the attorney’s responsibility about the entering into an agreement and/or the performance of the agreement, the quality of the services or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint as mentioned in paragraph 4 of the Advocatenwet;
- complainant: the client or its legal representative filing a complaint;
- complaints official: the attorney responsible for processing the complaint.
Article 2 Scope
- This complaints regulation applies to any agreement of assignment (in Dutch: “overeenkomst van opdracht”) between KERN Advocatuur and the client.
- All attorneys of KERN Advocatuur will ensure to process complaints in accordance with this complaints regulation.
Article 3 Objectives
The purpose of the complaints regulation is:
- to stipulate a procedure on processing complaints of clients within a reasonable term and in a constructive manner;
- to stipulate a procedure in order to determine the cause of the client’s complaints;
- to train staff on how to react on complaints in a client-oriented manner;
- to improve the quality of the service through the processing and analysing of complaints.
Article 4 Information at the start of the service engagement
- This complaints regulation has been made public. The attorney points out to the client before entering into the assignment that the firm has a complaints regulation in place and that it applies to the services rendered.
- KERN Advocatuur has stipulated in its general terms and conditions and has notified the client at the confirmation of the assignment, at which independent party or authority a complaint can be submitted for a binding judgment in case the complaint has not been solved.
- Complaints as mentioned in article 1 of this complaints regulation that have not been solved after being processed, will be presented to the court in Amsterdam.
Article 5 Internal Complaints Procedure
- In case a client approaches the firm with a complaint, the complaint will be passed on to mr. P.J.M. Gerritsen, who shall act as the complaints official. Should the complaint be related to mr Gerritsen, mr. P.M. Keegstra shall act as complaints official.
- The complaints offcial shall notify the person whom the complaint is against and shall give that person the opportunity to provide an explanation to the complaint.
- The person whom the complaint is against shall, together with the client, strive to come to a solution with or without the involvement of the complaints official.
- The complaints official shall process the complaint within four weeks after receipt of the complaint or shall inform the complainant of the deviation of this term by giving the reasons for such deviation and by informing the complainant of the term within which an assessment of the complaint can be made.
- The complaints official informs the complainant and the person whom the complaint is against in writing of the assessment on the merits of the complaint with or without any recommendations.
- In case the complaint has been satisfactorily processed, complainant, the complaints offical and the person whom the complaint is against, shall sign the judgment of the complaint.
Article 6 Confidentiality and free-of-charge complaint process
- The complaints official and the person whom the complaint is against shall maintain confidentiality in the processing of the complaint.
- The complainant does not owe any compensation for the processing of its complaint.
Article 7 Responsibilities
- The complaints official is responsible for the timely processing of the complaint.
- The person whom the complaint is against will keep the complaints official informed on any developments and possible solutions.
- The complaints official will keep the complainant informed about the status of the complaint.
- The complaints official will keep record of the complaints.
Article 8 Complaints registration
- The complaints official files the complaint together with the subject of the complaint.
- A complaint can be classified in several subjects.
- The complaints official will periodically file report on handling of complaints and will give recommendations on how to avoid new complaints together with the improvements of the procedures.
- At least once per year the reports and the recommendations will discussed at the firm and will be submitted for decision-making.