Complaints procedure

TRC ADVOCATEN B.V.

Article 1: definitions
The terms used in this Complaints Procedure are defined as set out below:

  • complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of the client towards the lawyer, or the individuals employed subject to his/her responsibility, in relation to the formation and performance of a letter of engagement, the quality of services or the amount of the fee note, not being a complaint as referred to in Subsection 4 of the Counsel Act (Advocatenwet);
  • complainant: the client, or his/her/its representative, that notifies TRC Advocaten of a complaint;
  • complaints officer: the lawyer who is responsible for handling a complaint;

Article 2: scope of application

  1. This Complaints Procedure will apply to each letter of engagement entered into between TRC Advocaten and the client.
  2. Each lawyer at TRC Advocaten B.V. will ensure that complaints are handled in accordance with the Complaints Procedure.

Article 3: objectives
The following objectives underlie this Complaints Procedure:

  • to set out a procedure for the handling of complaints received from clients in a constructive manner and within a reasonable period of time;
  • to set out a procedure for the identification of the causes underlying the complaints received from clients;
  • to maintain and improve existing relationships by handling complaints properly;
  • to train staff to provide a client-focused response to complaints;
  • to improve the quality of service provision aided by complaint handling and complaint analysis. 

Article 4: information upon the commencement of service provision

  1. This Complaints Procedure has been brought into the public domain. Before entering into a letter of engagement, the lawyer will inform the client that the firm operates a Complaints Procedure and that this procedure applies to its services.
  2. In its letter of engagement and its general terms and conditions, TRC Advocaten B.V. will state the name of the independent party or body to which a complaint may be submitted for a binding decision if not resolved after completing the complaints procedure.
  3. Complaints as referred to in Article 1 of this Complaints Procedure that have not been resolved after completing the Complaints Procedure will be submitted to the court (a civil court).

Article 5: the internal complaints procedure

  1. If a client approaches the firm with a complaint, it will be passed on to mr. R.B.J.M. van der Linden or mr. H.J. van Gastel, the complaints officers, who will then act as such.
  2. The complaints officer will notify the individual about whom a complaint has been made of the complaint and will give the complainant and the individual against whom the complaint has been made the opportunity to explain the nature of the complaint.
  3. The individual about whom a complaint has been made will endeavour to work with the client to achieve a solution, whether or not with the mediation of the complaints officer.
  4. The complaints officer will handle a complaint within four weeks of the date on which the complaint is received or will provide the complainant with a reasoned notification of any deviation from this period of time, stating the period of time in which a decision will be made on the complaint.
  5. The complaints officer will notify the complainant and the individual against whom a complaint has been made in writing of his/her opinion on the merits of the complaint, whether or not accompanied by recommendations.
  6. If a complaint has been dealt with to the satisfaction of all concerned, the complainant, the complaints officer and the individual against whom the complaint was made will sign the decision on the merits of the complaint.

Article 6: confidentiality and complaint handling free of charge

  1. The complaints officer and the individual against whom the complaint has been made will maintain confidentiality when handling a complaint.
  2. The complainant will not be required to pay any costs for the handling of his/her/its complaint.

Article 7: responsibilities

  1. The complaints officer will be responsible for the prompt handling of all complaints.
  2. The individual against whom a complaint has been made will keep the complaints officer up-to-date on any contacts and any possible solution.
  3. The complaints officer will keep the complainant up-to-date on the status of his/her/its complaint.
  4. The complaints officer will be responsible for keeping the complaints file up-to-date.

Article 8: complaint registration

  1. The complaints officer will register all complaints and also the subject of these complaints.
  2. A complaint can be broken down into a number of subjects.
  3. The complaints officer will report regularly on the handling of complaints and make recommendations designed to avoid new complaints and improve procedures.
  4. These reports and recommendations will be discussed in the firm and submitted for decision-making at least once per year.