Chambers' Complaints Procedure


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.

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
 
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 telephone the individual nominated under the Chambers Complaints Procedure to deal with complaints – Martin Adams, Practice Director. If the complaint is about Martin Adams telephone Andrew Mitchell QC, the Head of Chambers. 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.
 
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
 
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 Martin Adams, Practice Director, Chambers of Andrew Mitchell QC, 33 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1EN. 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.
 
Our Chambers has a panel headed by Andrew Mitchell QC and 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.
 
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 committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister member or staff who you have complained about, 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

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.  Our management committee inspects an anonymised record regularly 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