We want you to be happy with our service and will do our absolute best to put things right should any problems arise.
However, sometimes things can go wrong and if this happens please speak directly to the barrister concerned immediately.
Level 1 – Complaints made by telephone
You may make a complaint informally by telephoning the barrister concerned or, if the complaint relates to a member of staff, our Chief Executive, Mark Rowlands. If the complaint is about the Chief Executive, you may telephone the Head of Chambers, Richard Power. 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 try to resolve them. If the matter is resolved s/he will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the outcome and record that you are satisfied. You may also wish to make your own written record of the outcome of the telephone discussion.
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 (see below).
Level 2 – Complaints made in Writing
If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, or if you would like to proceed to making a formal complaint, you should write to the Head of the Complaints Panel, Lamb Chambers, Lamb Building, Temple, London EC4Y 7AS. Please give the following details: your name and address; which member of chambers or staff you are complaining about; the detail of the complaint and what you would like done about it.
Our Chambers Complaints Panel is headed by Derek Kerr and is made up of experienced members of Chambers and the Chief Executive, which considers and investigates any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received the head of the panel (or in his absence his deputy) will appoint a member of the panel to investigate it. If your complaint is against the head of the complaints 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.
The person appointed to investigate will write to you as soon as possible to let you know s/he has been appointed and when s/he will be able to give a detailed reply to your complaint (in most cases we provide a detailed response within 28 days of the written complaint being received). If s/he finds later that s/he is not going to be able to reply within the time originally stated s/he will set a new date for her/his reply and inform you.
Her/his reply will set out:
- The nature and scope of her/his investigation;
- Her/his conclusion on each complaint and the basis for her/his conclusion; and
- If s/he finds that you are justified in your complaint, her/his proposals for resolving the complaint.
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, the management board and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister or member of staff who you have complained about, the members of the panel and the person who investigates the complaint.
We make a written record of any complaint. Our management board inspect the record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
We hope that you will use our procedure. However, if you would rather not do so or if you are not content with the outcome of the investigation we have undertaken, you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman. He is completely independent of the legal profession.
Ordinarily, you can ask us the Legal Ombudsman to look at your complaint if it meets ALL three of the steps below:
1. The problem or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010; and
2. You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following: six years of the problem happening or three years from when you found out about it; and
3. You refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of Lamb Chambers’ final response to the complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted at the following address:-
PO Box 6806
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
The Legal Ombudsman’s Decision Database on other complaints can be found at: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/ombudsman-decision-data/