In the event that you a lay client, a professional client or a member of the public is dissatisfied with the treatment they have received from a barrister or a member of our staff, we wish to provide a remedy.
Experience tells us that, very often, potential complaints can be resolved informally, because they may have arisen through a misunderstanding or can be remedied without resort to the full complaints procedure. We encourage you to take up a complaint with the responsible person in the first instance, if possible by telephone nor email. If the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction in this way, it is open to you to make a formal complaint. We recognise, of course, that there may be grievances which are incapable, in your view, of being resolved in this informal way.
Barristers in chambers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board. You can search the Barristers’ Register on the Bar Standards Board’s website
This shows (1) whether a barrister has a current practising certificate, and (2) whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings, which are published on the Bar Standards Board’s website in accordance with their policy.
Alternatively, you can contact the Bar Standards Board on 020 7611 1444 to ask about this (or e-mail ContactUs@BarStandardsBoard.org.uk).
In the first instance you should follow our complaints procedure. We try to deal with complaints as quickly as possible. You will normally receive a telephone call within 3 working days if you have a wish to discuss a matter before making a formal complaint. If you submit a written complaint then you should receive an outcome within 21 working days unless otherwise agreed. If an outside panel is convened then it may take longer or if the Barrister is asked to respond in writing it may take a little more time than is usually anticipated. If there is a delay in the process you will be notified in writing.
You can complain to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) if you are unhappy with the final response to your complaint, or if your complaint has not been dealt with in eight weeks.
Clients who have a right to complain to the LeO are individuals and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities.
The full list of who has a right to complain to the LeO is available on their website.
You must complain to the Legal Ombudsman either within six years of your barrister’s actions/failure to act, or no later than three years after you should reasonably have known there were grounds to complain. You must also complain to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving your barrister’s final response to your complaint.
You can also search the decision data on the LeO’s website.
This shows providers which received an ombudsman’s decision in the previous calendar year, and whether the LeO required the provider to give the consumer a remedy. Alternatively, you can contact the LeO on 0300 555 0333 to ask about this (or email firstname.lastname@example.org).