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 body for service complaints about lawyers, has time limits concerning the receipt of complains. They are no later than 6 years from the act or omission, 3 years from when the complainant should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint, or 6 months of the complaint receiving a final response from Chambers.
  3. Chambers must therefore have regard to that timeframe when considering all complaints.

Complaints Made by Telephone

  1. You should make any complaint in writing following the procedure outlined below. However, if you wish to discuss 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 advise you on how to take the matter further. They will keep a written work of this initial conversation. Please note that this does not apply to the Crown Prosecution Service who have their own Complaints Procedure.
  3. 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, 12CP Barristers, 20 Carlton Crescent, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 9ET. 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 6806,

Wolverhampton

WV1 9WJ

Telephone number:          0300 555 0333

Email:      enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk