It is our aim to provide the highest quality legal service to clients and instructing professionals and we trust that you will be satisfied with all aspects of the service you receive from us. A You have a right to complain should you feel dissatisfied in any way.
Should a concern or problem arise, it is in the best interest of all involved to resolve these at the earliest opportunity. As such, if something goes wrong or at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service, then you should contact the barrister you have been dealing with in the first instance to discuss this, so that he or she can do their best to resolve the problem. This helps the standards and service delivery to all clients to be continually improved. Complaints about employees or clerks which cannot be resolved directly with the individual should be raised with the Senior Clerk.
The contact details for all members of chambers can be found on the member pages on the Addington website here.
If this is not possible, or if no informal resolution is reached, a complaint should be made in writing as set out below.
Formal complaints should be made in writing, where possible, and either addressed to the Joint Heads of Chambers, Mr Julian Hickey and Mr Adrian Shipwright, marked ‘Complaint’ on the outside of the envelope. Alternatively, your complaint can be submitted via email, headed complaint and sent to:
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
If it is not possible to make your complaint in writing, you should telephone the clerks on 01823 704073 and make an appointment to speak to one of the Joint Heads of Chambers, Mr Julian Hickey and Mr Adrian Shipwright, stating that you wish to discuss a complaint with them.
The Joint Heads of Chambers may give authority to another barrister, senior employee or appropriately qualified independent party to open and deal with complaints on their behalf.
1. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 3 days of receiving your complaint, in writing or via the telephone. You may be asked to confirm or explain the details set out. Any verbal conversations will be confirmed in writing.
2. Your complaint will be investigated fully before you receive a response.
a. It may be the case that more information is requested from you, to allow your concerns to be better addressed. This will happen within 3 days of receiving the initial complaint; and/or
b. The Joint Heads of Chambers or another barrister or individual appointed by them for this purpose, will liaise with the barrister and the person making the complaint, discuss the issues raised with each (so far as each is willing to do so) and seek to reach agreement on resolution of the complaint. This will happen within 7 days of receiving the initial complaint.
3. Within 14 days of completing the investigation, you will be sent a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include suggestions for the resolution of the matter.
4. Once you have considered the reply, if you are still unsatisfied you should get back in contact. A review of the decision will be arranged, with another independent member of Chambers or an independent barrister or solicitor. This will be completed within 14 days.
5. At this time, we will write to you with confirmation of the final position on your complaint, along with the reasons. This will be completed within 5 days of us receiving the outcome of the independent review. You will also be provided with the name and address of the Legal Ombudsman. If you are still not satisfied, you can contact them about your complaint (see below).
If any of the timescales above need to be altered, you will be informed and provided with the reason for the change. In any event the entire complaints process will not take longer than 8 weeks.
If you are still not happy with the result
If you feel the complaint has not been resolved to a satisfactory standard, then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates problems about poor service from lawyers.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint first. If so, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
- No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them on the following:
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Post: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Frequently Asked Questions concerning the Legal Ombudsman can be found here:
Whilst the Legal Ombudsman will look independently at complaints about service, if you believe there have been any breaches of the rules governing barristers, then you can ask the Bar Standards Board to investigate.
You can find out more information, including how to report your concerns here: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/reporting-concerns.html#Reporting%20a%20concenn
Alternative dispute resolution
Alternative complaints bodies, such as Promediate (https://www.promediate.co.uk/) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should we both wish to use such a scheme. We agree to use Promediate.