At Allen Overy Shearman Sterling LLP (A&O Shearman) we take our professional responsibilities seriously and are committed to providing the highest quality service to all of our clients. However, if you, as a client, are dissatisfied with the service you have received or are receiving, you may make a complaint following our complaints procedure as set out below. 

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1. In the first instance, you should contact the partner responsible for the supervision of the matter in question (the Matter Partner) or your normal Client Relationship Partner. The Matter Partner and/or your Client Relationship Partner will be your point of contact during the complaints process.

2. The Matter Partner or Client Relationship Partner will work with you to try to resolve your complaint in the first instance. If your discussions with the Matter Partner or Client Relationship Partner do not resolve the matter to your satisfaction, you should put your complaint in writing to our dedicated complaints mailbox,

3. The email should set out as much information as possible regarding the reasons for your complaint, and the dissatisfaction with any proposed resolution. The following information should be included:

(a) confirmation that you are making a complaint under A&O Shearman's complaints policy;

(b) your full name and contact details; 

(c) details of why you are dissatisfied with the service provided; 

(d) the Matter Partner identified in your engagement letter; and 

(e) your desired outcome from the complaint.

4. Following receipt of the formal complaint we will reply to you within 14 days identifying the individual responsible for investigating the complaint and confirming the steps we are taking. We will either provide our substantive response within this 14 day period or, if that is not practicable, we will give our expected timetable for doing so. We aim to respond in full to all complaints within eight weeks but we will keep you informed if we are not going to be able to meet that timescale. At the conclusion of the investigation of your complaint you will be advised of our response in writing.

5. At the conclusion of our investigation, you may have the right to complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) (see below).

5.1 A complaint can be made to the SRA if it relates to the professional conduct of A&O Shearman or any of its partners and employees. Further information is available on the SRA's website ( The SRA can be contacted by telephone (0370 606 2555), by email ( or by post (SRA Report, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN).

5.2 LeO is an independent, consumer focused scheme set up to resolve complaints about lawyers in England and Wales. It provides a free complaints resolution service. LeO will only consider a complaint from a client, if at the time they raised the complaint, they were:

(a) an individual; 

(b) a micro-enterprise; 

(c) a charity that had an annual income net of tax of less than £1,000,000 (one million pounds sterling); 

(d) a club, association or organisation whose affairs are managed by its members, a committee or a committee of its members that had an annual income of less than £1,000,000 (one million pounds sterling); 

(e) a trustee of a trust that had an asset value of less than £1,000,000 (one million pounds sterling);

(f) a personal representative or beneficiary of the estate of a person who, before he/she died, had not referred the complaint to LeO.

Not all clients will be eligible to complain to LeO, with larger businesses generally ineligible. A complaint to LeO must normally be made within six months of the date of A&O Shearman’s final written response to your complaint and no more than one year from the date of the act/omission, or no more than one year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. Further information on LeO and the services it provides is available on its website (, or LeO can be contacted by telephone (0300 555 0333), by email ( or by post (The Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH).

6. We will not charge you for handling your complaint.

7. This policy is issued in compliance with the SRA's Standards and Regulations, 2019.