How To Make A Complaint

Download our booklet called Making a Complaint

In the vast majority of cases, clients of our Members receive excellent service.

Occasionally things can go wrong. If a Member of the Institute doesn’t get it right and if a client is not happy with any aspect of service provision, our Members are keen to know about it. Not only does it allow them to rectify the situation, they will then also be able to ensure the same problem doesn't happen again.

If a client isn't happy, they should  in the first instance write to the firm concerned. They should be able to find the name of the person to whom complaints should be made and their contact details on the contract/Terms of Business/Letter of Engagement that are provided to all clients.

Clients should not contact the Institute or its Alternative Dispute Resolution (IPWADR) Service until they have given the firm the opportunity to put things right.

The Institute’s Code of Practice requires that letters of dissatisfaction should be acknowledged within 5 days and will include information about how the issues that have been raised will be dealt with. The firm then has a further 56 days to complete an investigation and respond to those issues.

If a client isn't happy with this response, they have three options:

1. To refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman ONLY IF the Letters of Engagement provided by the firm or professional describe this as an option.

2. Otherwise, provided that the value of the transaction is less than £10,000, the matter can be referred to the Institute’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (IPWADR) Service which is a quick and no cost service (the average time to resolve a dispute between March 2022 and March 2023 was 22 days)

You can refer the matter to the IPWADR Service by completing the online form here. Alternatively you can make a complaint to the IPWADR Service in writing to

Institute of Professional Willwriters
Trinity Point, New Road
West Midlands
B63 3HY

or by email to compliance@ipw.org.uk

There is no charge for referring a matter to the IPWADR Service.  

3. Clients may pursue the matter through the courts, irrespective of whether they have followed any or all of the above procedures.

4. If a client makes a complaint through the IPWADR Service and they are not happy with the outcome then they may pursue the matter through the courts. If a client makes a complaint through the IPWADR Service and they are not happy with the service that they have received, or the way their case has been handled, then they can refer the matter to the IPW Council by sending an email to compliance@ipw.org.uk

More information about how to make a complaint about a member of the Institute, including full details of the IPWADR Service  can be found in our booklet ‘Making a Complaint’ which can be downloaded here.

You can view the IPW policy on how ADR officials who hear complaints are appointed:  here

Every year the IPW is required to publish an annual report about its complaints scheme. The latest report can be found  here