We will always do our best to address your concerns or complaints immediately. We aim to provide an excellent quality of service at all times. However, if you have a complaint we invite you to follow the procedure below.

Please address all complaints, either written or by telephone to the Senior Clerk, Mark Windebank (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). If the complaint is about the Senior Clerk, please address it to the Head of Chambers, Tracey Hennessey. In any event, the complaint will be dealt with by someone other than the person you are complaining about. (Please note that we will not consider complaints raised more than six months after the relevant event).


Complaints made by telephone

You may wish to make a complaint in writing.   However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone Chambers.

A record of the complaint will be made and what you would like to be done about it. They will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved they 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 so it can be investigated formally.


Complaints made in Writing

  • Please make clear your name and contact details, which Member of Chambers you are complaining about, the precise nature of your complaint and how you would like it to be resolved.
  • If in writing, your complaint will be acknowledged where possible within 2 days and considered and actioned by the Senior Clerk/Head of Chambers within 14 days. If a telephone complaint cannot be resolved there and then you will be invited to put your concerns in writing within 14 days.
  • The substantive reply will include: the nature and scope of the investigation, a conclusion on each complaint and the basis for this conclusion, and in the case of a complaint which is found to be justified, proposals for resolution.
  • If you are dissatisfied with a decision or any part of it, you may ask for it to be reviewed within Chambers and/or you may refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
  • A record will be kept of all complaints and resolutions, conversations and correspondence relating to them.

Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

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.

The Legal Ombudsman will consider complaints within 6 years of the date of the act or omission taking place (but will not accept complaints about acts or omissions that took place before 5th October 2010) or within 3 years from when you should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint. The complaint must be brought to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of you receiving a final response from No.18.

It is important to note that the Legal Ombudsman is not able to consider a complaint until it has first been investigated by Chambers.

You can write to the Legal Ombudsman at: Office of the Legal Services Ombudsman, PO Box 15870, Birmingham B30 9EB. T: 0300 555 0333 (charged at local rates – available nationally from mobiles and landlines). Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , See also www.legalombudsman.org.uk


Complaints to the Bar Standards Board

If your complaint concerns a barrister who is not representing you and you are not satisfied with the outcome of our internal client satisfaction procedure, you should contact the Bar Standards Board. They can be contacted online https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/complaints-and-professional-conduct/, by telephone on 020 7611 1444 or in writing at: Bar Standards Board, 289-293 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ.

Any member who wishes to make a complaint regarding a breach of this policy should in the first instance contact Edward Hurley, Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer.


Internal Chambers review

The Complaints Panel reports annually to the Management Committee of Chambers on the number of complaints received, the subject areas of the complaints and the outcomes. The information provided is anonymised. The Management Committee reviews this information for trends and possible training issues.


Time Limits

Both the Legal Ombudsman and the Bar Standards Board will normally only consider complaints made within 12 months of the act or omission complained of (or 12 months of the date when you knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that there was reason for making the complaint).

But, if you have complained first to Chambers within that time frame and then complain to the Legal Ombudsman and/or the Bar Standards Board promptly afterwards, they will normally consider your 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 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.


Record Keeping

As part of our commitment to client care, we make a written record of formal complaints and retain all documents and correspondence generated by the complaint for a period of 6 years. A summary of the (anonymised) record is inspected regularly with a view to improving services.