We aim to provide an excellent quality of service at all times. If, however, you have a complaint, we invite you to follow Chambers Internal Complaints Procedure below.
Please note that we will not consider complaints raised more than six months after the relevant event.
- Any substantive complaint received in Chambers (whether it is to a Clerk, a Barrister or to the Heads of Chambers) will be entered upon a Corrective Action Request and a copy given to the Head of Team (or the Chair of the Executive Board if the complaint relates to a Head of Team).
- A substantive complaint is one which is about a matter that covers negligence, incompetence or a significant shortfall in the level of service. It should be made in writing, by letter, or email and addressed to the Head of Team, the Chair of the Executive Board, or the relevant Barrister.
- All complaints will be acknowledged, in writing where appropriate, within 48 hours of receipt.
- The client will also be advised that a full, detailed reply will follow which will, where practical, be within 21 days of receipt of the initial complaint. If the complaint is against a member of Chambers, this initial response will be from them. If it is against a member of staff, the Executive Board will respond.
- If it is not appropriate for the initial response to be provided by the individual, the complaint will be referred to the Executive Committee who, where practical, will provide a detailed reply within 21 days of receipt of the initial complaint.
- If the response is deemed to be insufficient by the client or it is not possible to resolve the matter with the response provided in paragraphs 4 & 5, then the matter will be referred to the Executive Board. The matter will then be further investigated. The Executive Board will then liaise with the client as appropriate.
- If a client is still unsatisfied even after referral to the Executive Board, then the individual/company will be advised of their right to approach the Legal Ombudsman.
- The existence of this procedure does not prohibit Chambers from turning away what are considered to be “unjustified” complaints.
- The Corrective Action Request must be completed when the complaint is finalised.
- The “complaints file” will be reviewed each September by the Heads of Teams who will then report the number and type of complaints to the Executive Board. The Clerking Team will also outline any procedural changes that have been deemed necessary and when they were introduced.
- Complaints received over 6 months after the hearing or interaction from which the complaint arises will be rejected.
All correspondence 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 Executive Board and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. The Legal Ombudsman is entitled to review all information Chambers hold on the complaint and will be provided with a file should they be instructed to investigate a complaint.
All information relating to complaints is stored by Chambers for a period of 6 years.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
We hope that you will use our procedure. However, if you would rather not do so or are unhappy with the outcome you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman. You have 6 months from our final decision in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must be submitted within 12 months from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining. You may search the LSO’s complaints data here.
You can write to the Legal Ombudsman at:
Office of the Legal Services Ombudsman PO Box 6806,