Article 1 - definitions
In this office complaints procedure the following terms have the following meanings:
- complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client towards the lawyer regarding the formation and execution of the contract for services, the quality of the work or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Lawyers Act (Advocatenwet);
- complainant: the client or his representative who makes a complaint known;
- complaints officer: the lawyer who is charged with handling the complaint;
- the office: Het Reorganisatie Bureau (The Restructuring Desk) / Het Arbeidsrecht Bureau (The Employment Law Desk).
Article 2 - scope
1. This office complaints procedure applies to every assignment agreement between the office / the lawyer and the client.
2. The lawyer, J.A. de Groot, is responsible for handling complaints in accordance with the office complaints procedure.
3. If the complaints procedure is also drawn up in the English language, the Dutch text will be binding in the event of a dispute about the content or purport.
Article 3 - objectives
This office complaints procedure aims to:
a. establish a procedure to deal with complaints from clients in a constructive manner within a reasonable period of time;
b. establish a procedure to determine the causes of the complaints;
c. maintain and improve existing relationships by means of good complaints handling;
d. train the lawyer to respond to complaints in a client-oriented manner;
e. improve the quality of the services by means of complaint handling and complaint analysis.
Article 4 - information at the start of the work
1. This office complaints procedure has been made public. Before entering into the assignment agreement, the lawyer points out to the client that an office complaints procedure is used and that it applies to the services.
2. In the general terms and conditions and in the engagement letter it is included at which independent party or independent body a complaint, which has not been resolved after following the internal office complaints procedure, can be submitted in order to obtain a binding decision.
3. Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this office complaints procedure that have not been resolved after handling will be submitted to the Amsterdam District Court.
Article 5 - internal complaints procedure
1. If a client approaches the office with a complaint, the complaint will be forwarded to the lawyer, J.A. de Groot, who acts as a complaints officer.
2. The complainant is given the opportunity and is obliged to substantiate the complaint.
3. The complaints officer investigates if a settlement can be reached with the complainant.
4. The complaints officer will settle the complaint within one month of receipt of the complaint or inform the complainant of the deviation from this period, stating the period within which an opinion on the complaint will be given, along with the reasons for the delay.
5. If the complaint has been handled satisfactorily, a document will be drawn up with the opinion on the merits of the complaint and the solution / settlement. If there has been no solution / settlement, the complainant will receive a document stating only the outcome of the handling of the complaint.
Article 6 - confidentiality and free complaint handling
1. The complaints officer will observe confidentiality when handling complaints.
2. The complainant does not owe any compensation for the costs of handling the complaint.
Article 7 - responsibilities
1. The complaints officer is responsible for the timely handling of the complaint.
2. The complaints officer keeps the complainant informed about the handling of the complaint.
3. The complaints officer keeps the complaint file.
Article 8 - complaint registration
1. The complaints officer registers all complaints and periodically draws up a report on the handling of the complaints and changes any procedures and/or methods to prevent new complaints and to improve procedures.
2. If applicable, the complaint is also reported to the liability insurance company.
Click here to download the Dutch and English office complaints procedure in pdf. Easier to print.