Our aim is to give you the best possible service at all times. Cotswold Barristers 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 with Chambers Director, Carla Morris. 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
If your complaint is not resolved on the telephone you will be invited to write to us about it within the next 28 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 Complaints, Cotswold Barristers, Ermin House, 68 Cricklade Street, Cirencester, GL7 1JN
Within 14 days of your letter being received the complaint will be investigated by the Head of Chambers. If your complaint is against the Head of Chambers it will be investigated by the next most senior member 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 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.
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, 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 Chambers and the person who investigates the complaint.
As part of our commitment to client care we make a written record of any complaint. We inspect the record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman (professional body overseeing barristers)
We hope that you will use our procedure. However, if you would rather not do so or are unhappy with the outcome, you have the choice of taking up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman. You can write to him at:
PO Box 15870
Telephone: 0300 555 0333 or, if you would prefer to use minicom, 0300 555 1777 (Please note all calls will be recorded).
If you are not happy with Counsel’s reply or Chambers’ reply then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman is a free, impartial and independent service set up by the Government which deals with complaints about the service you have received. You must complain to the Ombudsman within twelve months of receiving a final response to your complaint from Counsel or from Chambers (provided the response specifically notifies you of your right to complain to the Ombudsman and of the twelve month time limit). A complaint to the Ombudsman must also 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.
For Legal Ombudsman Decision Data please see https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions/
You can check our barristers’ records here https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/search-a-barristers-record.html