Chambers Complaints Procedure
- 1. Our aim is to give you the highest possible standard of 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.
Complaints Made by Telephone
- 2. You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in paragraph 4 below. However, if you would rather discuss your complaint in the first instance, please telephone the Head of Chambers (Roderick I'Anson Banks) or, if you would prefer, Simon Jelf. The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. He will discuss your concerns with you and do what he can to resolve them immediately. If the matter can be resolved in this way, he will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with that outcome and record that you are satisfied. You may also wish to prepare your own record of the outcome in writing.
- 3. 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: see paragraph 4 below.
Complaints made in Writing
- Please give the following details:
Please address your letter to our Practice Manager, Tyroon Win, at the above address, or, if you would prefer, to either of the individuals named in paragraph 2 above. 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.
- Your name and address;
- Which member(s) of Chambers/staff you are complaining about;
- The detail of the complaint; and
- What you would like done about it.
- Your complaint will be handled either by the Head of Chambers, Mr. Roderick I'Anson Banks, or Simon Jelf, as appropriate. You may rest assured that the complaint will not, under any circumstances, be handled by the person you are complaining about.
- The person handling your complaint 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 days. If he is unable to meet this deadline, he will set a new date for his reply and immediately inform you of this. 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.
- He may also invite you to discuss the investigation and his proposals on the telephone or in person if you are agreeable.
- 7. 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 initially be limited to the person handling the complaint and the person about whom the complaint has been made, but the matter may, in appropriate circumstances, also need to be discussed with the Head of Chambers. The Bar Standards Board is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.
- 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 Head of Chambers inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman.
- 9. We hope that you will use our procedure. However, if you are unhappy with the outcome you may, if you are eligible to do so, be able to take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman (the independent complaints body) at the conclusion of your complaint with us. The Ombudsman is not able to consider your complaint until it has first been investigated by Chambers. The Legal Ombudsman has time limits in which a complaint can be raised with them, namely:
The Ombudsman will only deal with complaints from Chamber's clients. You can write to them at:
- within six months of the complaint receiving a final response from the barrister in question or from us, if that response complies with the requirements in rule 4.4 of the Scheme Rules (which requires the response to include prominently an explanation that the Legal Ombudsman was available if the complainant remained dissatisfied and the provision of full contact details for the Ombudsman and a warning that the complaint must be referred to them within six months);
- within six years from the date of the act/omission; or
- within three years from the date that the complainant should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission was more than six years ago)
PO Box 6806,
Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
- If you are not the barrister's client and are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation then please contact the Bar Standards Board at:
Bar Standards Board
Professional Conduct Department
289-293 High Holborn
Telephone number: 0207 6111 444