- Our aim is to give you a good service at all times. However if you have a complaint you are invited to let us know as soon as possible. It is not necessary to involve solicitors in order to make your complaint but you are free to do so should you wish.
- Please note that the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for service complaints about lawyers, has a twelve-month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. Because the Legal Ombudsman cannot consider your complaint until it has first been investigated by chambers, 5RB will not normally entertain a complaint after 10 months from the date of the act or omission about which the complaint is made. In no circumstances will 5RB deal with a complaint outside the twelve-month limit.
Complaints Made by Telephone
- You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in paragraph 4 below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone the barrister concerned or (if the complaint is about a member of staff) Kim Janes, the Senior Clerk. If the complaint is about the Senior Clerk telephone either Head of Chambers – Desmond Browne QC or Mark Warby QC. The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. He or she will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved they will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the outcome and record that you are satisfied. You may also wish to record the outcome of the telephone discussion in writing.
- 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.
Complaints Made in Writing
Please give the following details:
Your name and address;
Which member(s) of Chambers you are complaining about;
The detail of the complaint; and
What you would like done about it.
- Please address your letter to Desmond Browne QC or Mark Warby QC, 5 Raymond Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London, WC1R 5BP. We will, where possible, acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 48 hours and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.
- Our Chambers has a panel headed by Desmond Browne QC and made up of experienced members of Chambers and a senior member of staff, which considers any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received the head of the panel or Mark Warby QC in his absence will appoint a member of the panel to investigate it. If your complaint is against the head of the panel, the next most senior member of the panel will investigate it. 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 he or she has been appointed and that they will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If he or she finds later that they are not going to be able to reply within 14 days they will set a new date for their reply and inform you. His or her reply will set out:
The nature and scope of his or her investigation;
His or her conclusion on each complaint and the basis for their conclusion; and
If he or she finds that you are justified in your complaint, their proposal 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, members of our management committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister member or staff who you have complained about, the head or relevant senior member of the panel and the person who investigates 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.
- 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 6 years. Our management committee inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
- If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for complaints about lawyers, at the conclusion of our consideration of your complaint. The Ombudsman is not able to consider your complaint until it has first been investigated by Chambers. Please note that the Legal Ombudsman has a twelve-month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. You can write to them at:
PO Box 15870
Telephone number 0300 555 0333