Complaints procedure

Article 1           Definitions

In this complaints procedure, the following definitions shall apply:

  • complaint: any written expression of displeasure by or on behalf of a client towards a lawyer or person working under his/her responsibility regarding the formation and execution of an agreement to provide services, the quality of the services provided or the amount on an invoice, other than a complaint as meant in Article 4 of the Act on Advocates;
  • complainant: a client or his/her representative who has given notice of a complaint;
  • complaints official: the lawyer charged with dealing with the complaint.

Article 2           Scope of application

  1. This complaints procedure shall apply to every agreement to provide services between Marree en Dijxhoorn Advocaten and the client.
  2. The complaints procedure shall also apply to matters being dealt with by the Natural Persons Debt Rescheduling Act (WSNP) administrator.
  3. Every Marree en Dijxhoorn Advocaten lawyer and WSNP administrator shall deal with every complaint in accordance with the complaints procedure.

Article 3          Objectives

The purpose of this complaints procedure is:

A.  to establish a procedure for dealing constructively with complaints by clients within a reasonable period of time;
B.  to establish a procedure for determining the causes of client complaints;
C.  to maintain and improve existing relationships by dealing with complaints effectively;
D.  to train employees to respond to complaints in a client-friendly manner;
E.  to improve the quality of the services provided by dealing with and analysing complaints.

Article 4        Information at start of service provision agreement

  1. This complaints procedure is publicly available. Before entering into a service provision agreement, the lawyer shall inform the client that the office operates a complaints procedure and that it applies to the services to be provided.
  2. In its general terms and conditions, Marree en Dijxhoorn Advocaten states which independent party or body shall be asked to deliver a binding ruling in the event of the failure to resolve a complaint, and shall make this information known to the client when entering into an agreement.
  3. Complaints as meant in Article 1 of this complaints procedure that have not been resolved shall be put before the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards (Geschillencommissie Advocatuur).

Article 5        Internal complaints procedure

  1. If a client contacts the office with a complaint, then the complaint is passed on to the Marree en Dijxhoorn Advocaten board member with responsibility for carrying out this internal complaints procedure; this person is also a lawyer, and therefore shall act as the complaints official.
  2. The complaints official shall notify the complainant and shall give the complainant and the complainee the opportunity to explain their version of events in relation to the complaint.
  3. The complainee and the client shall attempt to reach a solution, with or without the help of the complaints official.
  4. The complaints official shall either deal with the complaint within four weeks of receipt thereof or inform the complainant if this deadline cannot be met, stating the reasons why, and stating the period within which a ruling on the complaint may be expected.mededeling aan de klager over afwijking van deze termijn met vermelding van de termijn waarbinnen wel een oordeel over de klacht wordt gegeven.
  5. The complaints official shall notify the complainant and the complainee in writing of the justifiability of the complaint, and may include recommendations.
  6. If the complaint has been resolved satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints official, and the complainee shall sign the ruling on the justifiability of the complaint.

Article 6          Confidentiality and costs of dealing with complaint

  1. The complaints official and complainee shall not make any disclosure about the complaint.
  2. The complainant shall not be liable for payment of any fee for the costs of dealing with the complaint.

Article 7          Responsibilities

  1. The complaints official is responsible for dealing with the complaint within the stipulated time.
  2. The complainee shall keep the complaints official informed of any contact and of any possible resolution.
  3. The complaints official shall keep the complainant informed on the progress of his/her complaint.
  4. The complaints official shall maintain the complaint file.

Article 8          Registering the complaint

  1. The complaints official shall register the complaint, including the subject thereof.
  2. A complaint may be categorised into more than one subject.
  3. The complaints official shall report periodically on how complaints are being dealt with and make recommendations designed to prevent new complaints being made, as well as on improving procedures.
  4. The reports and recommendations shall be discussed at least once a year at the offices, and relevant decisions proposed.

Article 9        Complaints procedure for WSNP administrators

  1. If a complaint against a WSNP administrator relates to the conduct of said person, and is not satisfactorily resolved, the complainant can lodge a complaint with the complaints advisory committee of the Legal Aid Board (Raad voor Rechtsbijstand). For more information about the code of conduct for WSNP administrators and the complaints procedure, please refer to