It is the objective of Chambers to provide legal representation of the highest standard with the utmost integrity to all its clients and to ensure that our services are supported by an administration function of an identical standard.
Chambers accepts that matters sometimes arise that give cause for a complaint and so it aims to resolve any such issues promptly, courteously and in a manner that directly addresses the concerns of the complainant. This complaints procedure shall be accessible to all and has been structured in a simple and clear format.
Chambers shall endeavour to give prompt replies to complaints, with time limits laid down, kept and made known to the complainant. It shall provide for effective investigation of the issues raised and offer fair and effective redress at all times.
Overall Chambers shall maintain client confidentiality at all stages of the complaint including the investigative stages and beyond.
Should you feel that you have not been provided with a service of a satisfactory standard or you have reason to make a complaint on any other grounds you are invited to report your concerns to Chambers at the earliest opportunity by telephoning the Head of Chambers, Mr. John Charles Rees QC or the Clerk to Chambers, Mr. Stephen Price on 02920 233313.
The person you contact will take your name and details as well as the nature of your complaint, so please ensure you have all relevant information to hand. He will discuss your concerns with you and will ask what you feel should be the necessary course of action in resolving the complaint. He will aim to resolve the issue for you at this time and, should a satisfactory outcome be reached, he shall record the outcome accordingly.
However, if you are not able to reach a satisfactory outcome over the telephone then you will be invited to make a further written complaint within 14 days of the telephone call.
When making a complaint in writing you should address the letter to either Mr. Rees QC or Mr. Price. All written complaints shall be dealt with within 14 days from the date of receipt of the letter.
Please ensure that you include your full name and address, the full details of the complaint and what you would like done about it. An acknowledgement will be sent to you confirming receipt of your complaint and that you will receive a reply within the 14 day time frame. If it becomes apparent that a reply cannot be given within the 14 days you will be informed in writing and be provided with a new date by which a reply will be sent to you.
On completion of an investigation into your complaint a reply will be sent to you in writing providing the following details:
1. The nature and scope of the investigation
2. The conclusion reached in respect of each complaint and the basis for the conclusion
3. Where the complaint is justified by the findings of the investigation, proposals for resolving the complaint.
All conversations and documentation relating to your complaint shall be treated with the utmost confidence at all times and shall be disclosed only to those persons involved in the matter.
As part of our commitment to client care a written record of any complaint will be made.
Chambers will investigate any complaint received within 3 months of the date of the act complained about. Any complaint received later than such date will not, under any circumstances be investigated internally.
If you are unhappy with the outcome you can pursue your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or you can write to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 15870, Birmingham, B30 9EB. You should note that the Legal Ombudsman requires complaints about the service provided to clients are first addressed under in-house Chambers’ complaints procedures before a client can access the Ombudsman service. You should go to the Legal Ombudsman as soon as you can and within 6 months of your last contact with Chambers.
Complaints about the conduct of barristers are dealt with by the Bar Standards Board. You can find out more about the Bar Standards Board at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/complaintsandhearings.