1. 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.
Complaints made by telephone
2. You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in paragraph 4 below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone Nigel Jones, the Senior Clerk. Complaints about members of staff should also be relayed to him. If the complaint is about the Senior Clerk, then it should be made in writing to the Head of Chambers, Andrew Thornhill QC. The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. He or she will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved he or she 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.
3. 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
4. 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 Nigel Jones, Senior Clerk, Pump Court Tax Chambers, 16 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4EF.
5. Our chambers has a panel headed by Andrew Thornhill QC and made up of experienced members of chambers and the senior clerk, which considers any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received the head of the panel or her/his deputy in her/his absence will appoint a member of the panel to investigate it. If your complaint is against the head of the panel it will be investigated by the next most senior member of the panel. In any case, the person appointed will be someone other than the person you are complaining about.
6. The person appointed to investigate will write to you as soon as possible to let you know he or she has been appointed and that they will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If that person finds later that they are not going to be able to reply within 14 days they will set a new date for their reply and inform you. The reply will set out:
The nature and scope of the investigation;
The conclusion on each complaint and the basis for the conclusion; and
If that finds that you are justified in your complaint, their proposals for resolving the complaint.
7. 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.
8. As part of our commitment to client care we make a written record of any complaint. Our management committee inspects the record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Bar Standards Board or the Legal Ombudsman
9. If you are unhappy with the outcome of our procedure, you have the choice of taking up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman.
10. Generally, the Legal Ombudsman will only consider your complaint if you have first used the Chambers complaints procedure, but the Ombudsman will consider a complaint where there has been no resolution under our complaints procedure within 8 weeks of your complaint.
11. Where a written response has been sent to you under Chambers own complaints procedure, you must complain to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of that written response.
12. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman using the following details:
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
PO Box 15870