If you are a solicitor or a member of the public and you wish to make a complaint about a barrister this is the procedure which we require you to follow in order for your complaint to be dealt with properly and efficiently.
The procedure is as follows.
- You will complete the Complaint Form setting out the details of your complaint and your desired outcome. Please note that your complaint must be precisely and succintly summarised (limited to 500 words) in the Complaint Form.
- Please do not send or provide copies of any documents which you refer to to in the Complaint Form unless requested to so by the investigator.
- Clerksroom reserves the right not to deal with any complaint made otherwise than by way of the Complaint Form and in accordance with these procedures and requirements.
- Upon successful submission of the Complaint Form, we will immediately acknowledge your complaint by email providing you with a reference number. Please note if you do not receive an acknowledgment your complaint may not have been received.
- Your complaint will be forwarded to the barrister who will be invited to provide us with a response to your complaint using the Complaint Response Form.
- Upon receipt of the barrister’s response we will investigate your complaint taking into account the matters set out in the Complaint Form and the Complaint Response Form.
- Your complaint will be dealt with by the senior clerk or a person nominated by the senior clerk ("the investigator").
- Where appropriate, the investigator may, in his or her sole discretion, seek further information or clarification of the complaint either from you or the barrister or both.
- The task of the investigator is to assess whether the barrister has provided a properly arguable answer to your complaint. If the barrister has provided a properly arguable answer to your complaint, your complaint is unlikely to succeed. If the barrister does not provide a properly arguable answer, your complaint is likely to be upheld. If upheld, the task of the investigator will then be to go and consider what, if any, action should be recommended to be taken.
- The investigator's decision which will be a full and final decision, will be recorded on "the Complaint Decision Form".
- We will endeavour to send a copy of the investigator's decision to you within 28 days of the date of receipt of your complaint. Where more time is required, the investigator will email you the revised timescale, informing you why more time is required.
- Please note that if allegations of negligence or professional misconduct are made against the barrister, the decision or recommendation of the investigator may be that the matter should be referred directly to the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, the Legal Ombudsman or the Bar Standards Board.
You must contact the Legal Ombudsman either within 6 months following the conclusion of our handling your complaint, within 6 years from the date of the act/omission, or 3 years from the date that you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago).
The Legal Ombudsman’s details are as follows:
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
We will retain all documents and communications relating to any complaint for a period of 5 years and then the data will be removed from our systems. For more information about our GDPR policies, click here.