Service Standards & Client Care

Chambers Service Standards:

Chambers is committed to providing a friendly, efficient and effective service to all of its clients.

In order to provide our clients with a service designed to meet their needs and to assist them in making an informed choice of counsel we are committed to the following policies:

Meeting the Demand for Greater Specialisation

Chambers has formed a number of specialist Law Teams to enhance the range and availability of skills and expertise within each work group. The core of each team is made up of Barristers who have developed a wealth of experience sufficient to warrant their status as specialist practitioners.

Quality Standards

Each Practice Team has devised quality standards designed specifically for its area of law to ensure that the service we provide is of the highest quality. Compliance with these standards is further ensured through the BarMark and Quality Mark procedures.

Contractual Terms

From 31st January 2013 all members of 12 College Place will be adopting the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012.

Providing  Modern Facilities

Chambers has modern seminar and conference facilities available for your use. Chambers operates from a Grade 2 Listed building in the heart of the city, a few minutes walk from  Southampton Combined Court Centre. The building has been specially renovated in order to provide the level of service expected of the modern Bar. Members of Chambers are always willing to travel to alternative locations, including the clients own premises, in order to meet the needs or convenience of those involved.

Ensuring Complete Satisfaction

Chambers has devised a range of procedures to ensure that the specific needs of the client and case are paramount. We regularly monitor the effectiveness of our services and have procedures in place to ensure compliance with this objective.

We encourage regular feedback from all of our clients and will take all reasonable steps to address any problems that are identified for us.

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 your complaint but you are free to do so should you wish.
  2. Please note that the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for service complaints about lawyers, has a twelve-month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. Chambers must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether they are able to investigate your complaint. Chambers will not deal with complaints that fall outside of the twelve month time limit.

Complaints Made by Telephone

  1. You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint, then please telephone the Senior Clerk, Mark Harrison, who is the individual nominated under the Chambers Complaints Procedure to deal with complaints in the first instance. If the complaint is about Mark Harrison, please telephone the Head of Chambers, Nicholas Haggan Q.C.
  2. The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like to be 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. Please note that this does not apply to the Crown Prosecution Service who have their own Complaints Procedure.
  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.

Complaints made in Writing

  1. Please give the following details:
    • Your name and address;
    • Which member(s) of Chambers or Chambers’ staff you are complaining about;
    • The detail of the complaint; and
    • What you would like done about it.
  2. Please address your letter to The Senior Clerk, 12 College Place, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 2FE. 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.
  3. Our Chambers has a panel headed by the Head of Chambers and made up of experienced members of Chambers and the Senior Clerk, which considers any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received, the Head of Chambers or his deputy in his absence will appoint a member of the panel to investigate it. If your complaint is against the Head of Chambers, 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.
  4. 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

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 be to the Head of Chambers, members of our Management Board and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister member or staff about whom you have complained, the Head of Chambers 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

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. The complaints file is reviewed regularly by a member of the panel and a report made to the Management Board with a view to improving services.

Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for complaints about lawyers, at the conclusion of our consideration of your complaint. The Ombudsman is not able to consider your complaint until it has first been investigated by Chambers. Please note that the Legal Ombudsman has a twelve-month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint.

You can write to them at:

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 15870,

Birmingham

B30 9EB

Telephone number:          0300 555 0333

Email:      enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk