What If I Have A Complaint?
Every professional client and every lay client is entitled to make a complaint about the service provided by a barrister. If you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance please contact the Senior Clerk to Chambers in writing. Acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint will be sent within two working days.
A lay client may make a complaint either through his solicitors or, if he wishes, directly without going through his solicitors.
The complaint will then be referred for action to the Heads of Chambers, Mr. Michael Cogan. The Head of Chambers will try to resolve your complaint as soon as possible and in any event within 28 days of its receipt. If a response takes longer than 28 days they will write to you explaining why and saying when they expects to be able to deal with the matter. In any event they will try and resolve your complaint within 56 days of its receipt at the very latest.
If we fail to deal with your complaint to your satisfaction you may then refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman asks that you go to him as soon as you can; and in any event you must contact him with your complaint within 6 months of the date of our written response. There are circumstances where the Legal Ombudsman can receive complaints up to six years from the act/omission complained of, or three years from when the complainant should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. He can be contacted in the following ways:-
o By telephone on 0300 555 0333 (calls charged at a local rate)
o By email at firstname.lastname@example.org
o Via his website www.legalombudsman.org.uk
o By post to PO Box 15870, Birmingham, B30 9EB
o The services of the Legal Ombudsman are free for consumers
The Legal Ombudsman will assess your complaint and either deal with it himself or, if in his view it involves possible issues of professional misconduct, he will refer it to the Bar Standards Board to deal with. If he does refer it to the Bar Standards Board, both he and the Bar Standards Board will contact you to confirm this. (“Professional misconduct” is when a barrister has breached the Code of Conduct for barristers, for instance by misleading the court or by acting dishonestly. You can find out more about the Code of Conduct on the website www.barstandardsboard.org.uk).
If you wish to complain about a barrister who is not working for you or who has not worked for you, you should contact the Bar Standards Board directly within 12 months of the problem occurring, either by telephone or via their website