Complaints Procedure

1. Our aim is to give you a good 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 a complaint but you are free to do so should you wish. It should be noted that throughout this document all references to the masculine include the feminine.

2. Please note that Chambers will only consider complaints that are raised within twelve months of the act or omission complained of.

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 contact our Senior Clerks. If your complaint is about one of the Senior Clerks then please telephone the Head of Chambers/Head of Complaints Panel. 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 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 the next 14 days so it can be investigated formally.

Complaints made in Writing

5. Please give the following details:

  • Your name and address;
  • Which member(s) of Chambers you are complaining about;
  • The detail of the complaint; and
  • What you would like done about it.

Please address your letter to Mark Cornell or David Green, Senior Clerk, Drystone Chambers, London WC1R 4JH. We will, where possible, acknowledge receipt of your complaint within seven days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.

6. Our Chambers has a panel headed by co-Heads of Chambers Andrew Campbell-Tiech QC and Karim Khalil QC. The rest of the panel is made up of experienced members of Chambers and a senior member of staff, which considers any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received the head of the panel or his deputy in his absence will appoint a member of the panel to investigate it. If your complaint is against the head of the panel, the next most senior member of the panel will investigate it. In any case, the person appointed will be someone other than the person you are complaining about.

7. 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 days. If he finds later that he is not going to be able to reply within 14 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.

Confidentiality

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 may be to the head of chambers, members of our management committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister or member of staff about whom you have complained, the head or relevant senior member of the panel 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.

Our Policy

9. As part of our commitment to client care we make a record of any complaint and retain copies of all documents and correspondence generated by the complaint for a period of six years. Our management committee inspects the records regularly with a view to improving services.

10. 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 six months from the date of our final decision in which to take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. However, should you raise your complaint with Chambers first, the Ombudsman will request you give Chambers eight weeks from receiving your complaint to resolve it. If you are not satisfied with the reply to your complaint or it has been more than eight weeks and you have not had a reply from us then you can write to the Legal Ombudsman at:

Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.

Or contact them via email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk