Any complaint received in Chambers to the clerks, to a barrister or to the Head of Chambers will be notified to the Senior Clerk.
A complaint is any material expression of dissatisfaction which is about a matter which covers negligence, incompetence or a significant shortfall in levels of service. It may be in writing, by fax, by telephone and to either the relevant barrister or any other member of Chambers.
All complaints will be acknowledged, preferably in writing, within 72 hours of receipt. The acknowledgement letter will include a copy of this procedure.
The client will also be advised when a full reply will follow, which should usually be within 20 working days. At all times Chambers will attempt to complete its investigation and response to the client within 40 working days.
If the complaint is received by a barrister, it will be handled by him/her in the first instance. If it is unable to be satisfactorily resolved, then the matter will be referred to the Senior Clerk.
Any complaint that involves the Senior Clerk should be made to the Head of Chambers. If the complaint relates to the Head of Chambers, it should be made to the Senior Clerk or the Deputy Head of Chambers and will be dealt with by the Management.
If received by the Senior Clerk, he will make enquiries of the barrister concerned, speak to the professional client and endeavour to resolve matters.
If this is insufficient, the matter will be referred to the Head of Chambers, who will then investigate and liaise with the professional client as appropriate.
In resolving each complaint, the matter will be reviewed to assess the need for any redress, remedial or Improvement action.The existence of this procedure does not prohibit Chambers from turning aside unjustified complaints.
If the complaint, having been reviewed by the Head of Chambers, is still unsatisfied or remains unresolved after 40 working days the matter can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman (Office for Legal Complaints).
The Ombudsman’s contact details are: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 15870, Birmingham B30 9EB Tel: 0300 555 0333 www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Any reference to the Ombudsman must be made within 6 months of the final response or last contact from Chambers.