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Complaints procedure legal services

Complaints procedure Oostenbroek Advocatuur 1 September 2022

(as referred to in Article 6.28 of the Regulation on the Legal Profession [Verordening op de Advocatuur])

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Article 1 definitions of terms

In this complaints handling scheme, the following terms have the following meanings:

  • Client: Natural person, or legal person under public or private law, who in consequence of a contract for professional services makes use or has made use of the legal professional services of one of the attorneys-at-law of Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V.;
  • Complaint: any written expression of dissatisfaction from or on behalf of the Client in respect of an attorney-at-law of Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V., or the persons working under his/her responsibility, about the formation, or the execution, of a contract for services as referred to above, about the quality of the legal professional services, or the amount of the invoice for the legal professional services, and not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Act on Advocates [Advocatenwet];
  • Complainant: the Client or his/her/its representative who makes a Complaint known;
  • Complaints Officer: the attorney-at-law who has been charged with the handling of the Complaint.

Article 2 scope

  1. This complaints procedure applies to every contract for services involving the legal professional services between Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V. and the Client, unless this has been deviated from in a contract for services or in any other way in writing.
  2. Every attorney-at-law connected with Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V. ensures that complaints are handled in accordance with the complaints procedure.

Article 3 objectives

The aim of this complaints handling scheme is:

  1. to lay down a procedure for handling a Complaint in a constructive manner within a reasonable term;
  2. to lay down a procedure for establishing the causes of the Complaint;
  3. to preserve and improve existing relationships by handling Complaints properly;
  4. to improve the quality of the services through complaint handling and complaint analysis.

Article 4 information at commencement of provision of services

  1. Prior to concluding the contract for services involving the legal professional services, the attorney-at-law points out to the Client that Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V. has a complaints procedure in place and that it applies to the professional legal services.
  2. Having regard to Article 7 of the General terms and conditions of Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V., a Complaint that has not been resolved after being handled in accordance with this internal complaints procedure as described in Article 5 below can be submitted to the competent civil court in the district of The Hague, or elsewhere if mandatory law so prescribes.

Article 5 internal complaints procedure

  1. If a Client contacts the office with a Complaint, the Complaint will be passed on to Mrs A.H. de Bosch Kemper-de Hilster, who thus acts as Complaints Officer. Should the Complaint involve Mrs A.H. de Bosch Kemper-de Hilster, Mr. E.J. van Knobelsdorff will address the matter. The Client may always request the director of Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V. to act as Complaint Officer.
  2. The Complaints Officer notifies the person complained about that a Complaint has been submitted and affords the Complainant and the person complained about an opportunity to further explain or comment on the Complaint.
  3. The person complained about tries to come to a solution with the Complainant, possibly with intervention of the Complaints Officer.
  4. The Complaints Officer deals with the Complaint within four weeks of receipt of the Complaint or notifies the Complainant that this term cannot be met, stating reasons and setting a new term by which an assessment of the Complaint will be furnished.
  5. The Complaints Officer informs the Complainant and the person complained about of the assessment on the merits of the Complaint in writing, possibly accompanied by recommendations.

Article 6 secrecy and handling of complaint free of charge

  1. The Complaints Officer and the person complained about observe confidentiality in the handling of the Complaint.
  2. The Complainant does not owe compensation of the costs of handling the Complaint.

Article 7 responsibilities and registration

  1. The Complaints Officer is responsible for handling the Complaint in a timely manner.
  2. The Complaints Officer keeps the Complainant informed regarding the handling of the Complaint.
  3. The Complaints Officer keeps a record of all Complaints, including the subject of the Complaint. A Complaint may be classified under more than one subject.

Article 8 complaint registration

At least once every year, the Complaints Officer reports to his/her office colleagues about the handling of the Complaints and makes recommendations to prevent new Complaints as well as to improve procedures. N.B.: this procedure does thus not apply to other services of Vereenigde Octrooibureaux N.V. conducted outside the practice of its attorneys-at-law.