1MCB Complaints Procedure

 1. Our aim is to provide you with 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.

 2. 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. 1MCB must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether we are able to investigate your complaint. We will not deal with complaints that fall outside the twelve month time limit.

Complaints made by telephone

3. You may wish to make a complaint in writing: if so, please follow the procedure in paragraphs 6 to 8 below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please call the Practice Manager, Julie Clarke. 

4. The Practice Manager will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it.  She will discuss your concerns with you, and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved we 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.   

5. 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

 6. Please write to the Standards Committee and 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 Julie Clarke, 1MCB, Third Floor, 15 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6AU. We will, where possible, acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.

7.    Our Standards Committee has a panel made up of experienced members of chambers who will consider any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received the head of the panel (or his deputy, 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.

8.    The person appointed to investigate will write to you as soon as possible to let you know that he has been appointed and that he will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If he finds later that he is not going to be able to reply within 14 days, he will set a new date for his reply and inform you. His reply will set out: 

  • The nature and scope of his investigation;
  • His conclusion as to each complaint and the basis for his conclusion; and
  • If he finds that you are justified in your complaint, his proposals for resolving the complaint.

Confidentiality

9.    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 may be to the Head of Chambers, members of our Management Committee and/or anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister or staff member whom 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.

Our Policy

10.    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 will also regualarly inspect anonymised records of any complaints received, with a view to improving the quality of the services that we offer our clients.

Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

11.  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 him/her at:

 

Legal Ombudsman

PO Box 15870,

Birmingham

B30 9EB

 

Telephone number:      0300 555 0333

Email:                          enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk