Complaints procedure of Schaap Advocaten Notarissen
1. Schaap Advocaten Notarissen (“Schaap”) has a complaints procedure for the legal profession (“procedure”) which is rendered below. It outlines the actions for handling client complaints about the services rendered by a lawyer of Schaap (“lawyer”).
2. If Schaap does not succeed in solving client complaints about the services rendered by a lawyer, by applying this procedure in a way that is acceptable to that client, the latter may apply to the civil court as the case may be.
Complaints officer for the legal profession
W.L. Stolk, LLM
P.O. Box 23052
3001 KB Rotterdam
J.M.J. Pennings, LLM
P.O. Box 23052
3001 KB Rotterdam
3. With regard to client complaints about the services rendered by the civil-law notaries, candidate notaries included, of Schaap, the Complaints and Dispute Settlement Scheme for the Notarial Profession applies. For more information, please visit the website of the Dutch Notarial Society.
Complaints procedure for the legal profession
Article 1 Definition of terms
In this procedure, the following terms have the meanings given:
complaint: any expression of dissatisfaction made about the services rendered by a lawyer of Schaap, about the formation and execution of a contract for services, the quality of the services or the amount of the fee note;
complainant: the client or the representative filing a complaint to Schaap;
complaints procedure: the present procedure for handling complaints;
complaints officer: the lawyer of Schaap who handles the complaint;
Schaap: Schaap Advocaten Notarissen, established in Rotterdam, having its principal place of business there at Parklaan 17 (3016 BA, P.O. Box 23052, 3001 KB).
Article 2 Purpose
The purpose of the procedure is to have fixed procedures in order to handle client complaints within a reasonable time-limit and in a way that is constructive to all parties.
Article 3 Filing a complaint
The written complaint (“complaint”) is sent by the complainant to Schaap’s complaints officer. No compensation is due by the complainant for the costs of handling the complaint.
The complaint must contain the name and the address of the complainant and/or his or her representative, the date and description of the action or omission at which the complaint is directed, and it must be signed. Schaap may decide not to handle a complaint if it does not meet the requirements set out above. In that case, Schaap offers the complainant the opportunity to supplement the complaint in accordance with the above requirements within two weeks. If there is no supplement within this period, Schaap will not handle the complaint, and the complainant will be notified in writing.
Article 4 Confirmation of receipt
No later than within ten working days after receipt of the complaint which has been filed or rather supplemented in accordance with the requirements set, Schaap will confirm the receipt thereof to the complainant. This confirmation includes in any way the name of the complaints officer handling the complaint and the development of the complaints procedure.
Article 5 Handling the complaint
The complaints officer informs the lawyer involved (“lawyer”) about the complaint. The complaints officer gives the lawyer the opportunity to respond in writing to the contents of the complaint within a period set by the complaints officer.
The complaints officer is entitled to make all the necessary enquiries he deems necessary for the proper handling and assessment of the complaint.
To the extent the complaints officer deems it appropriate, or if the complainant and/or the lawyer so request, the complaints officer calls both parties to be heard. The complaints officer sets the place, the date and the time and informs the parties in writing. A written report of this hearing is made by the complaints officer. The parties are granted copies upon request.
Article 6 Periods
In principle, the complaints officer handles the complaint within four weeks following its receipt. The complaints officer may extend this period, in principle by four weeks, if circumstances occur due to which the complaint cannot be handled within the first period of four weeks. The complaints officer informs the complainant and the lawyer in writing about the reasons for a longer period and mentions the periods within which a decision will be made.
Article 7 Settlement of the dispute
The complaints officer provides a solution where possible and makes an assessment where necessary. The complaints officer informs the complainant and the lawyer in writing of whether he considers the complaint to be grounded.
If the complainant does not agree with the solution and/or the assessment of the complaints officer, the complainant may apply to the civil court.