Downie & Gadban is a partnership. The Partners are Simon Acworth and Julian De Giovanni. Our VAT Registration Number is 188 2961 16. Our terms of business and indemnity insurance details are available on request.

Downie & Gadban is committed to client care, but should you have cause to be dissatisfied with the services we have provided you, then you have the right to complain and your attention is drawn to our Complaints Handling Procedure.

(A) Our Complaints Policy

We are committed to proving a high-quality legal service to all our clients.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details. Our complaint’s procedure is free of charge.

(B) What will happen next – our procedure 


  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 3 working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will then investigate your complaint, usually by reviewing the file and speaking with the person who acted for you.  This will normally involve passing your complaint to the relevant Partner. If we need more information or need to clarify any point, we will contact you.
  3. We will then tell you who will investigate your complaint and how long the investigation will take.  We will then invite you to a meeting (this would be a face to face meeting or a telephone discussion if that is preferred by you) to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. The Client Care Partner will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter, but where the matter is complicated a longer period may be necessary.
  4. After 3 days of the meeting, (or telephone discussion) we will write to you to confirm what took place and any solution, agreed with you.
  5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, we will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including our suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter or any extension of time that may be agreed (e.g.  on account of holiday or similar).
  6. A similar procedure will apply and a different Partner will deal with your complaint if it is directed at our Client Care Partner.


  1. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another partner at the firm to review the Client Care Partner’s decision or propose an appropriate alternative, such as mediation, to review the decision.


    1. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.If we are unable to resolve your complaint within 8 weeks of receiving full details from you then unless we agree an extension of time for resolving your complaint, you may have the right to refer it to the Legal Ombudsman.
    2. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within 6 months from the end of our complaint procedure.
    3. From 1 April 2023 the time limits for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint from you are as follows:-
      1. within 1 year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned (prior to 1 April 2023: 6 years); or
      2. within 1 year of you realising there was a concern (prior to 1 April 2023: 3 years).

Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are:-

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6167

Tel: 03000 555 0333

Email: [email protected]


Note:   If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why. You should register your complaint with us within 12 months.

  1. Alternative approved complaints bodies which are also able to deal with complaints about legal services, include:-
  1. Complaints to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (S.R.A.) If you have a complaint which relates to a breach of SRA’s Mandatory Principles or to an allegation of dishonesty or discrimination i.e. this involves fitness to practice issues, then if your complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved with us in the first instance, you have a right to raise a complaint with the SRA by following the same procedure as set out above (applicable for any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman).

The contact details for the SRA are:-

Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Cube
199 Wharside Street
B1 1RN

Tel: 0370 6062555

Email: [email protected]


  1. Complaints to The Notaries Society about Notarial Services If you have a complaint which relates to Notarial Services and which cannot be satisfactorily resolved with us in the first instance, you have a right to raise a complaint with The Notaries Society.The Notaries Society (of which Simon Acworth is a member) has a Complaints Procedure which is approved and accepted by the Faculty Office, who regulate Notary Publics. This procedure is free to use and is designed to provide a quick resolution to any dispute.You can write to The Notaries Society with full details of your complaint. Do not enclose any original documents. If you have any difficulty making a complaint in writing, you can call The Notaries Society for assistance.

Contact details for The Notaries Society are:

Post: Secretary of The Notaries Society, P O Box 7655 Milton Keynes MK11 9NR

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01908 803527


If you have your complaint considered under The Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may, at the end of that procedure (or after a period of 8 weeks from the date you first notified us that you were dissatisfied), make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.


January 2024