Complaints Policy

Our aim at 187 Fleet Street Chambers is always to provide you with the best possible service. However, in the event that you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, you are invited to contact us as soon as possible so that we may provide a remedy.

1. When should you complain?

Experience tells us that, very often, potential complaints can be resolved informally, because they may have arisen through a misunderstanding and can be remedied without resorting to the full complaints’ procedure.

Wherever possible, we encourage you to take up your complaint with the person responsible in the first instance. If the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, it is open to you to make a formal complaint using the guidance detailed below.

A formal complaint will be entertained if it is made within six months of the date of the cause of the complaint or when informal resolution has failed, whichever is the later.

2. How to make a complaint

a) By telephone

If you wish to make your complaint over the telephone, then please call:

+44 (0)20 7430 7430 and ask to speak to the Chambers’ General Manager or deputy in his/her absence.

If your complaint is about the Chambers’ General Manager, please ask to speak to Mr Andrew Trollope QC or Mr Richard Christie QC, joint Heads of Chambers.

The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. S/he will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them.

If the matter is resolved, s/he will record the outcome and check that you are satisfied that no further action is required.

If your complaint is not resolved over the telephone, you will be invited to write to us about it within the next 14 days so that it can be investigated formally.

b) In writing

Please provide the following details:

– Your name and address;

– Which member(s) of 187 Fleet Street staff and/or its barristers you wish to complain about;

– The details of the complaint;

– What you would like to be done about it.

Please address your letter to: The General Manager, 187 Fleet Street Chambers, 187 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AT. Alternatively, if your complaint is regarding the General Manager, you can address your letter to Mr Andrew Trollope QC or Mr Richard Christie QC at the 187 Fleet Street address.

We will, where possible acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.

3. Complaint investigation

It is the role of the joint Heads of Chambers to determine what has gone wrong and you should expect to receive a full written response within 14 days.

However, if the matter raises issues which, in the opinion of the joint Heads of Chambers, require an investigator to determine the facts, they will appoint a suitable member of Chambers to carry out an investigation.

A letter will be sent to you within 14 days of your complaint informing you who has been appointed. The investigator will then have access to all the relevant documents, will be able to interview witnesses and may need to contact you for further information.

The investigator will then produce a report to the joint Heads of Chambers as soon as possible, ordinarily within 14 days of his or her appointment. If it is not possible to meet this deadline the joint Heads of Chambers will write to you and inform you when the investigation is expected to be concluded.

The joint Heads of Chambers will consider the report and write to you, setting out the nature of the investigation. They will inform you whether your complaint is upheld or rejected, setting out the reasons why. When a complaint is upheld the letter will set out or include a proposal for resolving the complaint

4. Confidentiality

All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that it is necessary. Disclosure will be to the Chair of the Chambers’ Management Committee, members of the Management Committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister or staff member who have been complained about, the head or relevant senior member investigating the complaint.

The Bar Standards Board is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.

5. Our Policy

As part of our commitment to client care we make a written record of any complaint and retain all documents and correspondence generated by the complaint for a period of six years. Our Management Committee inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.

6. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

If you are unhappy with the outcome you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman.

You have six months from the date of our final letter in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. You can write to them at:

Complaints Team

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

Telephone:+44 (0)300 555 0333

Email address: mailto:enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk