Complaints Procedure

We aim to provide the best possible service, but if something has gone wrong, we want to hear from you.

We are proud of the standard of service that we provide, on occasions things do not go according to plan, we regard such situations very seriously and if you are not satisfied please follow the procedure outlined below.   Our procedure is designed to be simple and clear to ensure that any complaint received is considered as swiftly as possible and achieves a satisfactory outcome.

Please raise any issue as soon as you become aware of it, we will normally only consider complaints within 12 months of the occurrence of the issue which gave rise to the complaint.

It is not necessary to take independent legal advice before raising an issue but you are free to do so.

We are committed to ensuring that nobody is disadvantaged in making a complaint because of a disability or impairment.    If you would like this information in a different format or any other help, please phone us on 020 7933 8855 and ask to speak to the Senior Clerk, Chris Emmings.

Making a Complaint

A complaint is a material expression of dissatisfaction by a client or solicitor instructing a member of Chambers about a matter being dealt with by Chamber’s staff and/or its members, this may comprise negligence, incompetence or a significant shortfall in the standard of service provided. The complaint may be communicated in writing, by email, fax, or by telephone and to either the relevant barrister or the Senior Clerk, if you choose to make a complaint directly to an individual barrister please advise the Senior Clerk that you have done so. If the complaint is made verbally, for the sake of clarity, we may ask that you let us have the complaint in written form.

When making a complaint please provide us with the following information:

  • Your name and address, email address and telephone number;
  • Which barrister, clerk or member of staff you are complaining about;
  • The details of your complaint;
  • What outcome you are seeking.

Dealing with the Complaint

A complaint received will be referred to the Senior Clerk together with copies of any significant supporting evidence and/or correspondence.

All complaints will be acknowledged in writing within two working days of receipt, such acknowledgement will advise who will be responsible for dealing with your complaint and by when a full reply will be received.  Our aim is to deal with the complaint received as quickly as possible, the time taken will depend upon the nature of the complaint, under normal circumstances our substantive response should reach you in no more than 28 days.

If the complaint involves the Senior Clerk it will be dealt with by the Head of Chambers or another senior member of Chambers appointed by him/her for this purpose.

If the complaint relates to the Head of Chambers, it will be dealt with by a panel of three, appointed by the Chambers' Management Committee which will include at least one Queen's Counsel.

If the complaint involves a specific barrister, clerk or staff member, the matter will be discussed with that person following which we will respond to you with a view to resolving the matter.

If you consider the issue not to have been resolved to your satisfaction, the matter will be referred to the Head of Chambers, who will then investigate and liaise with you as appropriate.

In dealing with the complaint, the matter will be reviewed to assess the need for:-

  • Remedial action: where an error can be rectified;
  • Appropriate redress: as a compensatory/goodwill measure for you;
  • Improvement action: to consider the cause of the complaint and implement changes designed to prevent a re-occurrence.

The existence of this procedure does not prohibit us from dismissing without investigation complaints that we reasonably consider are manifestly without merit.  In such cases we shall advise you in writing that we are taking such action.

Further Action

If, having had the matter reviewed by the Head of Chambers, you remain unsatisfied, you are entitled to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Further information about how to make a complaint can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website or you can contact them at:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
WV1 9WJ
Tel: 0300 555 0333   (Overseas: +44 121 245 3050)

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Please note that there are strict time limits that you must observe in making such a referral.

Our Process

Confidentiality – all communications regarding your complaint will be treated as confidential and will only be disclosed to those dealing with the complaint and the person or persons complained about.  We may also be required to disclose such information to our regulators, the Bar Standards Board and the Legal Ombudsman, as part of their regulatory function.

Complaints Review – complaints received are reviewed annually by the Senior Clerk who will provide our Management Committee with a report. This report, which will contain information relating to the number and type of complaints and the persons complained of, together with confirmation that any changes of procedure identified as being necessary have been introduced and making proposals for any further changes that are considered appropriate.  The report will not contain any information or details which will enable the complaining person(s) to be identified.