Chambers Complaints Procedure
Our ethos is that excellence is standard. Our aim is to provide excellent service at all times. However if you feel that you may 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, has a twelve-month 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 twelve month time limit.
Complaints Made by Telephone
3. You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in paragraph 4 and 5 below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone the individual nominated below:-
Mr Nick Roberts - Chambers Director
0151 705 9345
If the complaint is about the above named person please contact :
Mark Chatterton – Head of Chambers
0151 705 9345
The person you contact will respond to you within ten working days.
He will make a note of the details of your complaint. 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.
4. If your complaint is not resolved on the telephone you will be invited to write to us about it within 14 working days of our response to your initial complaint so that it can be investigated formally.
Complaints made in Writing
Please give the following details:
Your name and address;
Which member(s) of Chambers/Chambers staff you are complaining about;
The detail of the complaint what you feel should be done about it.
Please address your letter to Mr Nick Roberts, at the address below. We will, where possible, acknowledge receipt of your letter within ten working days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.
Our Head of Chambers considers any written complaint and will involve other senior members of chambers where necessary. Within 14 working days of your letter being received the Head of Chambers or his deputy in his absence will investigate it. If your complaint is against the Head of Chambers, the next most senior member of the 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 he has been appointed and that he will reply to your complaint within 14 working days. If he finds later that he is not going to be able to reply within 14 working days he will set a new date for his reply and inform you. His reply will set out:
The nature and scope of his investigation;
His conclusion on each complaint and the basis for his conclusion; and
If he finds that you are justified in your complaint, his proposals for resolving the complaint.
8. 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, and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister member or staff who you have complained about 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.
9. 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. The Head of Chambers and Chambers Director inspect an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
10. 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 the Legal Ombudsman has a twelve-month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. You can write to them at:
PO Box 15870,
Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
Decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman may be found on the following link
Making a Complaint to the Bar Standards Board
11. The Ombudsman only deals with complaints from consumers which means that only complaints from the barrister’s client fall within their jurisdiction. Non-clients who are not satisfied with the outcome of the Chambers investigation should contact the Bar Standards Board rather than the Legal Ombudsman.
Please note that there may be occasions when Chambers does not feel it is possible to investigate a complaint made by a non-client at all, and there, if, having made an initial assessment of the complaint, Chambers considers that the issues raised cannot be satisfactorily resolved through the Chambers complaints process you will be referred to the Bar Standard’s Board. You can write to them at:
Bar Standards Board
Professional Conduct Department
289-293 High Holborn
Telephone: 0207 6111 444
Mr Nick Roberts
20 Chapel Street