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Zero-Tolerance Policy

When contacting Goodhand and Forsyth Solicitors Ltd (“G&F”) to make enquiries, provide information or raise a complaint, we are of the view that you should be listened to by our staff, and should be given an opportunity to explain your case or query. We believe that you should be treated with courtesy and respect by our members of staff.  

Our staff at G&F also have the same rights and we expect you to treat our members of staff with courtesy and respect. 

We recognise that when contacting G&F, you may be feeling upset or distressed with your case, or for other reasons. It is not considered acceptable when that anger becomes aggression directed to our members of staff. We will manage unreasonable behavior that is aggressive or abusive to our staff, or which places unreasonable requests and communication on our staff under this policy.  


Examples of unreasonable behavior  

Unreasonable behavior is behavior or language that may cause staff to feel intimidated, threatened or abused. This communication can be verbal, by face to face, telephone or even in writing. Some examples of this include:;  

  • Threats 

  • Verbal Abuse (face to face, writing, telephone) 

  • Racist & Sexist language  

  • Derogatory remarks  

  • Offensive language  

  • Rudeness  

  • Making inflammatory statements  

  • Raising unsubstantiated allegations  


Examples of unreasonable requests  

  • Requesting responses to unreasonable timescales 

  • Insisting on speaking with certain members of staff 

  • Contacting multiple members of staff and third parties 


Examples of unreasonable communication   

  • Repeatedly contacting us whilst we are in the process of looking at a matter or complaint  

  • Refusing to accept an advice given where explanations for the advice have been given  

  • Continue to pursue complaints/issues which have already been investigated and resolved  

  • Continue to raise unfounded complaints or new complaints/issues arising from the same set of facts  


It is important for you to note, due to the volume of work that fee earners deal with, they may not be able to respond immediately to your requests. This does not mean that your matter is any less important to us, however the fee earner may have deadlines that need to be met and requires more time to investigate your queries . If we have asked for your patience but you continue to pursue your concerns, such behavior will be considered unreasonable.  


How will we manage unreasonable behaviour? 

  • All staff at G&F have the authority to manage unreasonable behaviour. 

  • G&F has a zero-tolerance position on violence and threats against our staff and this behaviour will always be reported to the police. 

  • In all other cases, G&F will only restrict communication with you if we have informed you that your behaviour is unreasonable and have asked you to modify your behaviour. We will explain what action will be taken if the warning is ignored and, if you do not modify your behaviour, we will take steps to restrict communications with you. 

  • If we decide a restriction is appropriate, G&F will consider which of the options below best fits the circumstances. The level of restriction that we apply will be proportionate, taking into account the nature, extent and impact of your behaviour on our ability to do our work. 

  • We will be transparent and explain to you what restriction we are putting in place, our reasons for doing so and how long the restriction will apply. 

  • If G&F has already made a reasonable adjustment for you, this will be taken into account when deciding upon the appropriate course of action. 

Options to restrict contact 

If you continue to behave unreasonably after we have asked you to modify your behaviour, the options we will consider are: 


  • Option 1: requiring you to contact a named staff member(s) only 


  • Option 2: restricting telephone calls to specified days and times, as agreed with you 

  • Option 3: terminating telephone calls if you persistently raise issues which we have already responded to in full. We will politely explain that we are unable to comment further on the matter and will ask if there are any other issues you wish to raise. If no new issues are raised and you persist in raising issues which we have already addressed, we will tell you so before ending the call. A written warning will then be sent, with a view to limiting future communication to written communication only 


  • Option 4: terminating telephone calls if you are aggressive, abusive or offensive. We will politely ask you to modify your behaviour, but if the behaviour continues we will tell you again that your behaviour is unacceptable and end the call. We will then send you a written warning, with a view to limiting future communication to written only 


  • Option 5: restricting the issues we will correspond on 


  • Option 6: We will not respond to correspondence which is abusive or offensive 


  • Option 7: Physical violence, verbal abuse, threats or harassment against our staff will not be tolerated and will be reported to the police, who may decide to prosecute. If you are a solicitor we will also notify the SRA and you may be subject to regulatory sanctions. 

Note: This policy applies to exceptional cases where we may need to formally restrict incoming communications because an individual's behaviour is inappropriately persistent or abusive for example. This allows us to deal with all queries that come to us efficiently and proportionately. 

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