Dispute Resolutions Rules
Dispute Resolution Rules
Sterc advocaten B.V.
Any written notification of dissatisfaction from or on behalf of a client in respect of the lawyer or persons working under the lawyer’s responsibility with regard to the conclusion and the performance of a commission contract, the quality of the services provided or the amount of the fee statement, other than a complaint within the meaning of section 4 of the Dutch Counsel Act (Advocatenwet).
The client or his or her representative who gives notice of a complaint.
The lawyer who is charged with handling the complaint.
2. Scope of application
These Dispute Resolution Rules govern every commission contract between Sterc and the client. Every lawyer at Sterc is responsible for handling complaints in accordance with the Dispute Resolution Rules.
These Dispute Resolution Rules are intended to: a. lay down a procedure in order to handle any clients’ complaints within a reasonable term and in a constructive manner; b. lay down a procedure to determine the cause of any clients’ complaints; c. maintain and improve existing relations by handling complaints properly; d. train employees to respond to complaints in a manner that focuses on the client; and e. improve the quality of the services provided with the help of complaint handling and complaint analysis.
4. Information when the provision of services commences
These Dispute Resolution Rules have been made public. Before the commission contract is entered into, the lawyer will refer the client to the applicable general terms and conditions, including the Dispute Resolution Rules that Sterc applies and the applicability of those rules in respect of the services provided.
5. Complaints handling procedure
1. In the event that a client contacts the firm with a complaint, the complaint will be forwarded to the complaints officer whom Sterc has designated at that time.
2. The complaints officer will inform the person about whom the complaint has been submitted about the submission of the complaint and will give both the complainant and the person with respect to whom the complaint has been submitted an opportunity to provide an explanation with respect to the complaint.
3. The person about whom the complaint has been submitted will attempt to come to a solution with the client, if necessary with the intermediation of the complaints officer.
4. The complaints officer will handle the complaint within four weeks after the complaint was received or will inform the complainant of any derogation from that term, stating the reasons for the delay and the term within which a decision will be rendered with respect to the complaint.
5. The complaints officer will notify the complainant and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted in writing of the determination whether or not the complaint is well-founded, possibly together with recommendations.
6. In the event that the complaint is settled satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted will sign the determination with respect to whether the complaint is well-founded.
7. Complaints that have not been resolved after they have been handled in the foregoing manner will be submitted to the Dutch Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession (Geschillencommissie Advocatuur), with due observance of the rules and regulations that that committee applies.
6. Confidentiality and handling of complaints free of charge
The complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted will maintain confidentiality with respect to the handling of the complaint. The complainant will not owe any costs for the handling of the complaint.
The complaints officer is responsible for settling the complaint in a timely manner. The person about whom the complaint has been submitted will keep the complaints officer informed about any contacts and a solution, if one is reached. The complaints officer will keep the person about whom the complaint has been submitted informed about the handling of the complaint. The complaints officer will maintain the complaint file.
8. Registration of complaints
The complaints officer will register the complaint, including the subject matter of the complaint. A complaint may be classified under different subject matters. The complaints officer will report periodically with respect to the settling of the complaints and will make recommendations regarding how to prevent any new complaints in the future. The reports and the recommendations will be discussed within the firm and proposed decisions will be made at least once a year.