Our aim is to give you the best possible service at all times. Keating Chambers prides itself on the fact that complaints about the service provided by its barristers are very rare but we are always looking to improve our services and we welcome feedback from both solicitors and lay clients. Complaints are taken very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with Chambers Complaints Procedure, which is set out below.
We encourage you to let us know of any complaint at the earliest possible opportunity. In line with our friendly and open approach, in the first instance we would always encourage you to discuss any day-to-day concerns about the services of our barristers directly with them or the clerks. We would very much hope that the matter can be resolved at this point and that you will be satisfied with the outcome. However, if you feel that the concern or matter you have raised has not been dealt with to your satisfaction, then you may wish to make a formal complaint. We set out below how to use our formal complaints procedure.
- Complaints made by Telephone
You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in paragraph 5 below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone the Director of Clerking. If the complaint is about the Director of Clerking you should telephone the Chief Operating Officer. 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, 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 or staff you are complaining about; the detail of the complaint; and what you would like done about it. Please address your letter to The Complaints Panel, Keating Chambers, 15 Essex Street, London WC2R 3AA.
Our chambers has a panel headed by the Head of Chambers and made up of Queens Counsel, experienced members of chambers, and the Chief Operating Officer, which considers any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received the head of the panel or her/his deputy in her/his absence will appoint a member of the panel to investigate it. If your complaint is against the Head of Chambers it will be investigated by a Deputy Head of Chambers. 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, supply you with a copy of this complaints procedure, and that s/he will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If s/he finds later that s/he is not going to be able to reply within 14 days 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.
- Your right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (where applicable).
All communications and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that is necessary for the investigation and resolution of the complaint; internal review in order to improve Chambers’ handling of complaints; and complying with requests from the Bar Standards Board in the exercise of its monitoring and auditing functions.
- Our Policy
As part of our commitment to client care we make a written record of any complaint, of all steps taken in response to it, and of the outcome of the complaint.
- Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman (complaints body for the legal sector)
We hope that you will use our procedure and that will resolve the matter. However, if you are unhappy with the outcome, you may have the choice of taking up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman. A right to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman is available to all clients save for most businesses (unless they are defined as micro-enterprises), charities or clubs with an annual income of more than £1m and trustees of trusts with an asset value of more than £1m.
Normally you must bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint from Chambers (provided the response specifically notifies you of your right to complain to the Ombudsman and of the six month time limit). A complaint to the Legal Ombudsman is additionally subject to general time limitation requirements, that is it must be made not more than six years after the act or omission complained about or not more than three years from the date when you should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint.
You can make a complaint using the online complaints form found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/.
Alternatively, you can write to:
PO Box 6806
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
If you are calling from overseas, please call +44 121 245 3050
Further details may be found at: www.legalombudsman.org.uk