At the time of booking a case with us or accepting instructions, you will be notified of what you should do if we fail to meet your expectations. We are very proud of the service we provide so welcome feedback on any aspect of our service. We are delighted to hear when you are pleased so we can pass it onto Counsel or the staff member. Should you have a concern, we will do our very best to deal with that concern to your satisfaction. Should your concern not be dealt with to your satisfaction, you can make a formal complaint. We will always ask if your feedback could be dealt with as a concern in the first instance so that we can try to resolve it to your satisfaction.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction that requires a formal written reply.
You may raise your concern directly with our Senior Clerk, Mr Gregory Speller by sending an email or letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Equity House, Blackbrook Park Avenue, Taunton, TA1 2PX. Telephone: 0845 083 3000 (8.30am to 6pm)
Once you have completed our internal complaints process, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman if you are unhappy with the outcome of our internal complaints handling system.
Lay clients may complain directly to their Barrister without the need to go through their instructing solicitor. (This is a requirement of the Bar Standards Board)
Where the instructions were on a direct or public access basis using an intermediary, we must inform the intermediary. (This is a requirement of the Bar Standards Board)
If we cannot resolve your concern in a way that you are completely satisfied with, we will agree with you that your concern will be escalated to a complaint. Alternatively, you may raise a complaint in the first instance. We do hope you will discuss it with us first and give us the opportunity to resolve it.
Response to complaints:
Documents and record keeping:
We retain documents and records relating to every aspect of the service we have provided. Our internal systems and case management software provides a real time audit trail of actions and communications. We will ensure all documents and data relating to any complaint is kept confidential and only disclosed so far as is necessary for (a) the investigation and resolution of the complaint, (b) internal review for the purposes of improving our practice (c) complying with requests from the Bar Standards Board in the exercise of its monitoring and or auditing functions.
The disclosure of internal documents relating to the handling of the complaint, such as the minutes of a meeting held to discuss a particular complaint, to the Bar Standards Board for the further resolution or investigation of the complaint is not a requirement.
A record will be kept of each complaint, all steps taken in response to it and the outcome of the complaint, together with a copy of all correspondence, including electronic mail, and all other documents generated in response to the complaint. Records will be retained for a minimum of 6 years as required by the Bar Standards Board.
The senior clerk reports annually to the Managing Director setting out the number of complaints received, the subject areas of the complaints and the outcomes. The complaints are reviewed in order to spot any recurring concerns or negative trends so that we may rectify them and consider possible training issues.
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: