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Laceys’ Policy in Relation to Unreasonable Client Behaviour

Laceys’ Policy in Relation to Unreasonable Client Behaviour
1. The majority of people who contact Laceys do so in a polite and courteous manner.

2. This policy outlines how we manage the small number of individuals whose behaviour or actions we consider unreasonable to the extent that it becomes difficult for us to conduct their matter or deal with their enquiry.

3. At Laceys we go to great lengths to put our clients first. What matters to our clients matters to us. We believe you should be listened to and treated with proper respect and courtesy whenever you have any contact with us.

4. If you have a complaint about our service or any individual at Laceys you should raise this appropriately in accordance with our Complaints Policy which is available on request.

5. We also believe that anyone working at Laceys has the same rights to respect and courtesy.

6. This policy sets out what we consider to be unreasonable behaviour by a client, prospective client or other third party and the actions we might take if behaviour goes beyond what we consider to be acceptable.

7. If you have particular communication needs, for example if you have a disability, condition or illness, we will accommodate these as appropriate in accordance with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which is available on request.

Purpose of the policy
8. Our aims and objectives are to:
a. define the behaviours that are not acceptable to us
b. ensure that our ability to conduct our work to the highest standard is not adversely affected by those who behave in an unreasonable manner
c. ensure a safe working environment where we are not exposed to unnecessary work-related stress
d. empower those who work with us to deal confidently and effectively with unreasonable behaviour
e. encourage supervisors and colleagues to intervene or report within the firm when they observe unacceptable behaviour to or by colleagues

What behaviour is unreasonable?
9. We recognise that, when you contact us, you may have reason to feel aggrieved, upset or distressed and that times of stress can cause people to act out of character.

10.We cannot, however, tolerate behaviour that is aggressive, rude or abusive, which constitutes harassment or which places unreasonable demands on us.

11.Examples of behaviour that we consider to be unreasonable are outlined below.

Aggressive or abusive behaviour
12.This includes behaviour or language, whether verbal or written and in any such format, that may cause one of us to feel intimidated, threatened or abused such as:
a. threats
b. verbal abuse
c. derogatory remarks and offensive language
d. making inflammatory statements or
e. raising unsubstantiated allegations
f. racist, sexist or other discriminatory language (see harassment below)

13.Harassment includes unwanted behaviour:
a. relating to age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation which violates the person’s dignity or creates an intimidating hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment; or
b. that is intended to cause distress or alarm and occurs on more than one occasion (not necessarily the same behaviour on each occasion).

14.We will not tolerate harassment towards anyone who works with us and we will encourage the reporting of such behaviour.

Unreasonable demands
15.We always act in the best interests of our clients and in accordance with the SRA principles. In order to do our job to the high standard that you are entitled to expect, we must be empowered to deal with your matter appropriately. Unreasonable demands can affect our ability to deal effectively with your enquiry or matter and can impact on other clients too.

16.We therefore do not expect to work on any client matter where we consider that there are unreasonable demands including:
a. pressuring us to act to unreasonable timescales
b. excessive insistence on speaking with certain members of the team, either by phone and / or by attending in person unannounced – an expectancy that we can be available ‘on demand’
c. expecting us be available outside of working hours
d. continually contacting us while we are in the process of looking at a matter to the extent that it hinders our ability to progress the matter e. contacting several members of the team on the same topic

How will we manage unreasonable behaviour?
17.There are a number of steps we may take to limit unreasonable behaviour. Anyone who works with us has the authority to manage unreasonable behaviour.

18.We have a zero-tolerance position on abusive behaviour harassment or threats against anyone working at Laceys and this behaviour will always be reported to the police.

19.If anyone working at Laceys experiences unacceptable behaviour over the telephone, they are entitled to place the caller on hold or terminate the call, after informing the caller how their behaviour is unacceptable and that the call will be ended if the behaviour persists. If a caller’s behaviour is considered to be abusive or highly offensive, the call may be terminated without warning.

20.If there are multiple instances of unreasonable behaviour, in any format described above, we will contact you to explain why we consider the behaviour unreasonable and how we consider it must change for our contact or service to continue. We will also explain how we will restrict our communication or service should the behaviour not change. A copy of this policy will be provided.

21.If you continue to behave unreasonably after we have asked you to modify your behaviour, the options we will consider are:
a. requiring you to contact a named person(s) only
b. limiting future contact about a matter – we will advise what such limitation will look like and aim to agree this with you
c. restricting the issues we will correspond on
d. terminating our instructions and ceasing to act for you in a matter e. deciding not to act for you on future instructions

22.Any one of the above options (or a combination of these) may be applied.

23.Decisions to restrict our service in any of the ways described above will not be taken lightly and will always be made by one of our partners.

24.All incidents of unreasonable actions are recorded. When we decide to restrict contact, a note is made on the relevant file.

25.How can you appeal our decision?

26.If we have decided to restrict our service to you in any way and you do not agree with this decision, you can appeal following our complaints procedure.


Whatever your legal requirement, whether it be business or personal, our specialist teams are professional, prompt and personal, and will always strive to deliver practical solutions in the most cost effective way.

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