(property lawyers & tax advisors; hereinafter referred to as ‘RechtStaete’)
Article 1 Definitions
In this office complaint procedure
– complaint: means every written expression of dissatisfaction of or on behalf of the client to the lawyer or any persons working under his responsibility about the realisation and execution of a commission contract, the quality of the service provision or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint as referred to in paragraph 4 of the Counsel Act;
– complainant: means the client or his representative expressing a complaint;
– complaint officer: means the lawyer who is in charge of handling the complaint.
Article 2 Scope of application
- This office complaint procedure applies to every commission contract between RechtStaete and the client.
- Every lawyer of RechtStaete shall handle any complaint in accordance with the office complaint procedure.
Article 3 Objectives
The objective of this office complaint procedure is to:
- lay down a procedure for handling any complaint of a client in a constructive way and within a reasonable period of time;
- lay down a procedure for establishing the causes of any complaint a client may have;
- maintain and improve existing relationships by means of a proper complaint handling;
- train employees to respond to any complaint in a customer-focused manner;
- improve the quality of the service provision through complaint handling and complaint analysis.
Article 4 Information at the start of the service provision
- This office complaint procedure has been made public. The lawyer will make the client aware of the fact that the office is using an office complaint procedure before entering into the commission contract, and that it applies to the service provision.
- In its general terms and conditions, RechtStaete has included which independent party or body shall be authorised to decide on any complaint that has not been resolved after handling, to obtain a binding decision, and has informed the client of this with the order confirmation.
- Any complaint referred to in Article 1 of this office complaint procedure that has not been resolved after handling will be submitted to the Court.
Article 5 Internal complaint procedure
- If a client approaches the office with a complaint, the complaint will be forwarded to Frank van Buuren, who will thus act as the complaint officer.
- The complaint officer will then inform the person who has been complained about of the complaint, and give the complainant the opportunity to explain it.
- The person who has been complained about and the client will try to reach a solution together, either or not after intervention of the complaint officer.
- The complaint officer will handle the complaint within four weeks after it has been filed, or inform the complainant, stating the reasons, on any deviation of this term while stating the term within which the complaint will be assessed.
- The complaint officer will inform the complainant and the person who has been complained about in writing of the assessment of the justification of the complaint, either or not accompanied by recommendations.
- If the complaint has been handled to the satisfaction of the complainant, the latter, the complaint officer and the person who has been complained about will sign the assessment of the justification of the complaint.
Article 6 Confidentiality and handling of complaints free of charge
- The complaint officer and the person who has been complained about shall observe confidentiality during the complaint handling.
- The complainant shall not owe any compensation for the costs of handling the complaint.
Article 7 Responsibilities
- The complaint officer is responsible for a timely handling of the complaint.
- The person who has been complained about keeps the complaint officer informed of any contact and a possible solution.
- The complaint officer keeps the complainant informed of the handling of the complaint.
- The complaint officer keeps the complaint file up to date.
Article 8 Complaint registration
- The complaint officer registers the complaint and the subject of it.
- A complaint can be subdivided into multiple subjects.
- The complaint officer reports on the handling of the complaints on a regular basis and makes recommendations to prevent any future complaint, and to improve procedures.
- Reports and recommendations are discussed at the office and submitted for decision-making at least once a year.
 Translator’s note: Translation of ‘Advocatenwet’ found on https://iate.europa.eu/SearchByQuery.do;jsessionid=J1SyV1vbxZNTtXgh1YNp9pHH6NhNnRVpvk1LQGj8ysGSBpLl9F1v!626749221. However, the Dutch ‘Advocatenorde’ appears to be using the term ‘Law on Advocates’, which seems somewhat ambiguous.