Office Complaints Scheme GT Amsterdam Office
(regarding article 6.28 of the Verordening op de advocatuur – Dutch Legal Profession Regulation)
Article 1 Definitions
In this office complaints scheme the terms listed below have the following meaning:
- attorney: an employee of the GT Amsterdam office who is a member of the Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten (Netherlands Bar Association)
- complaint: every written expression of displeasure by or on behalf of the client an attorney or the persons working under the attorney’s responsibility about the formation and execution of a contract for services, the quality of the service or the amount of the invoice, not being a complaint within the meaning of section 4 of the Advocatenwet (Dutch Bar Member Act);
- complainant: the client or the client’s representative who makes a complaint known;
- complaints officer: the attorney who is charged with handling the complaint;
- GT: Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Article 2 Scope of application
- This office complaints scheme applies to every contract for legal services between the GT Amsterdam office and the client.
- Every attorney at the GT Amsterdam office is responsible for complaint handling in conformity with the office complaints scheme.
Article 3 Objectives
The objective of this office complaints scheme is:
- to lay down a procedure for handling complaints within a reasonable period of time in a constructive manner;
- to lay down a procedure establishing the causes of complaints;
- to maintain and improve existing relationships by means of proper complaint handling;
- to train employees in responding to complaints in a client oriented manner;
- to assure service quality through complaint handling and analysis.
Article 4 Information upon commencement of service provision
- This office complaints scheme is published on the GT website at https://www.gtlaw.com/en/general/footer/main-disclosure-page. Before entering into the contract for services, the attorney shall inform the client that the GT Amsterdam office uses an office complaints scheme and that it applies to the engaged service.
- The GT Amsterdam office’s General Terms and Conditions explains which independent party or body a complaint, which remained unresolved after having been handled, can be submitted to in order to obtain a binding decision. This information is also included in the engagement letter.
- Complaints within the meaning of article 1 of this office complaints scheme which remain unresolved after having been handled shall be submitted to the Rechtbank Amsterdam (Amsterdam District Court).
Article 5 Internal complaints procedure
- If a client approaches the office with a complaint it is forwarded to the members of the GT Amsterdam office’s Managing Shareholder, who will subsequently act as complaints officer.
- The complaints officers will inform the person complained against (hereinafter: the subject) about the complaint and will give both the complainant and the subject the opportunity to explain the circumstances of the complaint.
- The subject will attempt to arrive at a solution with the client, whether or not upon intervention of the complaints officers.
- The complaints officers handle the complaint within four weeks of receipt of the complaint, or otherwise inform the complainant, stating reasons, about the deviation of this term, also stating the time frame within which a decision on the complaint will be given.
- The complaints officer informs the complainant and the subject in writing about the decision on the merits of the complaint, which decision may be accompanied by recommendations.
- If the complaint was handled in a satisfactory manner the complainant, the complaints officer and the subject sign the decision on the merits of the complaint.
Article 6 Confidentiality and complaint handling at no cost
- The complaints officer and the subject observe confidentiality with regard to the handling of the complaint.
- The complainant shall not owe any compensation for the cost of the handling of the complaint.
Article 7 Responsibilities
- The complaints officer is responsible for a timely handling of the complaint.
- The subject keeps the complaints officer informed about any contact with the complainant and a possible solution.
- The complaint officer keeps the complainant informed about the handling of the complaint.
- The complaint officer keeps the complaint file.
Article 8 Complaint registration
- The complaint officer registers the complaint, including its subject matter.
- A complaint can be classified into multiple subject matters.
- The complaint officer periodically reports on the handling of the complaints and makes recommendations in order to prevent new complaints and to improve procedures.
- The reports and recommendations are discussed within the GT Amsterdam office and submitted for decision-making at least once a year.