- Complaints Policy
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Our aim is to give you a good service at all times. However, if you have a complaint we ask you 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 Chambers will only consider complaints that are raised within six months of the act or omission complained of.
- If you have a complaint, please send your complaint in writing
- in a letter to the Chief Executive, St John’s Chambers, 101 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6PU, or
- in an email to our CEO using [email protected].
Please provide 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
- We will where possible, acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt
- Our Chambers has a panel headed by the Chief Executive and made up of experienced members of Chambers which considers any written Within 15 working days of your letter being received the Chief Executive will investigate it himself or appoint a senior member of Chambers to investigate it. The person appointed will be someone other than the person you are complaining about.
- The Chief Executive will write to you as soon as possible to let you know who will be investigating your complaint and that the Chief Executive will reply to your complaint within 15 working If the Chief Executive finds later that they are not going to be able to reply within 15 working days they will set a new date to reply and inform you.
- The CEO’ will respond to your complaint setting out:
- The nature and scope of the investigation;
- Their conclusion on each complaint and the basis for their conclusion; and
- If s/he finds that you are justified in your complaint, their proposals for resolving the the complaint.
6. All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that is 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.
Barristers at St John’s Chambers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and hold current practising certificates. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please read below.
7. 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 Our Management Board inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman Scheme
On 6 October 2010, the new Legal Ombudsman Scheme came into effect. This means that service (not misconduct) complaints by individuals and some non-commercial bodies against barristers must be made to and considered by the Legal Ombudsman, and not to and by the Bar Standards Complaint’s Committee. This includes complaints about matters occurring prior to 6 October 2010.
If it has not been possible to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process. Alternative complaints bodies (such as Small Claims Mediation www.small-claims-mediation.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and your barrister wish to use such a scheme.
Any complaints of misconduct (that is, breach of the Code of Conduct) should be made to the BSB as the Legal Ombudsman will not entertain that aspect of any complaints. If any misconduct issue arises during the investigation of a complaint by the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman will refer the misconduct issue to the BSB.
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 Scheme at any time. Please note that from 1 February 2013 a complainant must refer a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within a) six year’s from the act/omission; or b) three year’s from when the complainant should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint without taking advice from a third party; whichever is later.
For Complaints regarding misconduct, please contact: Complaints Team
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn London WC1V 7HZ
Tel: 020 7611 1444
Fax: 020 7831 9217
See also www.barstandardsboard.org.uk
For Complaints regarding service, please contact:
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Tel: 0300 555 0333 (Please note all calls will be recorded) www.legaombudsman.org.uk
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