Complaints Procedure

We aim to provide an excellent quality of service at all times. If, however, you have a complaint, we invite you to follow Chambers Internal Complaints Procedure below. Please note that we will not consider complaints raised more than six months after the relevant event.

  1. Any substantive complaint received in Chambers (whether it is to a Clerk, a Barrister or to the Heads of Chambers) will be entered upon a Corrective Action Request and a copy given to the Senior Clerk.
  2. A substantive complaint is one which is about a matter that covers negligence, incompetence or a significant shortfall in the level of service.  It should be made in writing, by letter, fax or email and addressed to the Senior Clerk, the Heads of Chambers or the relevant Barrister.
  3. All complaints will be acknowledged, in writing where appropriate, within 48 hours of receipt.
  4. The client will also be advised that a full, detailed reply will follow which will, where practical, be within 21 days of receipt of the initial complaint.  If the complaint is against a member of Chambers, this initial response will be from them.  If it is against a member of staff, the Senior Clerk will respond.
  5. If it is not appropriate for the initial response to be provided by the individual, the complaint will be referred to the Heads of Chambers and the Management Committee who, where practical, will provide a detailed reply within 21 days of receipt of the initial complaint.
  6. If the response is deemed to be insufficient by the client or it is not possible to resolve the matter with the response provided in paragraphs 4 & 5, then the matter will be referred to the Heads of Chambers and the Management Committee.  The matter will then be further investigated.  The Heads of Chambers will then liaise with the client as appropriate.
  7. If a client is still unsatisfied even after referral to the Heads of Chambers, then the individual/company will be advised of their right to approach the Legal Ombudsman.
  8. The existence of this procedure does not prohibit Chambers from turning aside what are considered to be “unjustified” complaints.
  9. The Corrective Action Request must be completed when the complaint is finalised.
  10. The “complaints file” will be reviewed each September by the Senior Clerk who will then report the number and type of complaints to the Management Committee.  The Senior Clerk will also outline any procedural changes that have been deemed necessary and when they were introduced.
  11. Complaints received over 6 months after the hearing or interaction from which the complaint arises will be rejected.

All correspondence 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, members of our Management Committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. The Legal Ombudsman is entitled to review all information Chambers hold on the complaint and will be provided with a file should they be instructed to investigate a complaint.

All information relating to complaints is stored by Chambers for a period of 6 years.

Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

The Legal Ombudsman generally require complaints to have been dealt with using our internal complaints procedure before they commence any investigation. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint once our procedure has concluded you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

The Legal Ombudsman generally require the following criteria to be met:

  1. The problem or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010; and
  2. You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following – Six years of the problem happening; or Three years from when you found out about it; and
  3. You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of Lincoln House Chambers final response.

Further information can be found by following this link http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Factsheet1-Here-to-help1.pdf

You can write to the Legal Ombudsman at:

Office of the Legal Services Ombudsman PO Box 6806,

Wolverhampton,

WV1 9WJ

http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk