How we Handle Complaints
Our aim is to give you a good service at all times. However if you have a complaint you are invited to let us know as soon as possible. It is not necessary to involve solicitors in order to make your complaint but you are free to do so should you wish.
- Please note that the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for service complaints about lawyers, now has a one year time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. Chambers must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether they are able to investigate your complaint. Chambers will not deal with complaints that fall outside of the one year time limit.
Complaints Made by Telephone
- You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone our Senior Clerk. He will will make a note of your details, the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. He will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved he will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the outcome and record that you are satisfied. You may also wish to record the outcome of the telephone discussion in writing.
- If your complaint is not resolved on the telephone you will be invited to write to us about it within the next 14 days so it can be investigated formally.
Complaints Made in Writing
- Please give the following details:
- Your name and address;
- Which barrister (or staff member) you are complaining about;
- The detail of the complaint; and
- What you would like done about it.
Please address your letter to:
Mr Keith Plowman,
The Senior Clerk,
Ten Old Square,
London, WC2A 3SU.
We will, where possible, acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.
- Our Chambers’ Management Committee, led by The Head of Chambers and made up of experienced members of Chambers and the Senior Clerk, considers any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received we will appoint a member of Chambers to investigate it. If your complaint is against the Head of Chambers, the next most senior member of Chambers will investigate it. In any case, the person appointed will be someone other than the person you are complaining about.
- The person appointed to investigate will write to you as soon as possible to let you know they have been appointed and that they will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If they find later that they are not going to be able to reply within 14 days they will set a new date for their reply and inform you. Their reply will set out:
- The nature and scope of their investigation;
- Their conclusion on each complaint and the basis for their conclusion; and
- If they find that you are justified in your complaint, their proposals for resolving the complaint.
- All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that is necessary. Disclosure will be to the Head of Chambers, members of our management committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister member or staff who you have complained about, the head or relevant senior member of the panel and the person who investigates the complaint. The Bar Standards Board is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.
Our Recording Policy
- As part of our commitment to client care we make a written record of any complaint and retain all documents and correspondence generated by the complaint for a period of six years. Our management committee inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
- If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for complaints about lawyers, at the conclusion of our consideration of your complaint. The Ombudsman is not able to consider your complaint until it has first been investigated by Chambers. Please note that (as above) from April 2023 the Legal Ombudsman has a one year time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining (or when you should have realised that there was cause for complaint) within which to make your complaint. You can write to them at:
PO Box 15870,
Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
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