Should you have a complaint that you wish to raise, we wish to know about it. You can find our Client Complaint Procedure below.

Should you have a complaint that you wish to raise, we wish to know about it. You can find our Client Complaint Procedure below.

Client Complaint Procedure
1. Barraj Legal aims to provide an excellent quality of service at all times. We value feedback of any kind which is used to improve our service provision and to recognise success.

2. If, however, you have a complaint about the services provided to you by a member of chambers or a clerk we invite you to use the complaint procedure set out below. The procedure is intended to be simple and straightforward with a view to achieving resolution at the earliest opportunity.

3. Our procedure is free and you do not need to use the services of a solicitor or professional. We invite you to raise any issue of complaint as soon as reasonable practicable on the basis that the older the complaint the more difficult it can be to investigate it fully and fairly. If for any reason you consider yourself vulnerable or in need of special consideration please let us know and we will do our best to agree with you any reasonable adjustments to assist you in making your complaint.

4. We ask that you make any complaint as soon as possible after the event. Normally, complaints more than 6 months old are difficult to investigate in any detail though we treat any complaint on its merits and consider any special circumstances.

5. Please address all complaints to [email protected]. Either one of the senior clerks or a member of the complaints committee will be pleased to help you and will try in the first instance to see if matters can be put right informally and promptly.

6. If your complaint cannot be resolved informally and you wish to proceed with a formal written complaint then please ensure you provide the following:

• Your name and contact details.

• The name of the person complained about.

• The precise nature of the complaint, what happened, when and where.

• How you would like the complaint to be resolved.

Time scales for resolution
7. Chambers aims to acknowledge all written complaints within 5 working days of receipt. We try to expedite dealing with your complaint by using email wherever possible but it is not necessary to use email if this is not convenient for you. We aim to bring the process to a conclusion within 28 days though if the complaint is complex or requires a response from someone outside of chambers (such as a solicitor) it may take a little longer.

How the procedure works
8. Upon receipt of your formal complaint an investigation is undertaken which includes showing your complaint to the person complained of and asking for their response to the matters you have raised. Any other relevant information is also obtained where possible. The complaints committee will then respond to you.

9. This substantive reply will include:

• The nature and scope of any investigation.

• A conclusion on each complaint and the basis for the conclusion.

• In the case of a complaint which is found to be justified, proposals for resolution.

10. If you wish to respond to this substantive reply, the complaints committee will consider what further action, if any, is required. A response will then be sent to you.

11. All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that it is necessary to investigate and respond to any complaint. Disclosure will be to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. The Bar Standards Board is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when it is discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.

12. Please note that complaints about a barrister’s performance of their professional duties on your behalf will waive any confidentiality that might otherwise attach to any advice given or instructions received whether written or oral. This material can form part of any consideration of and response to a complaint.

13. Finally, complaints will be discussed with the clerks where it is necessary to look at issues arising relating to service protocols.

14. As part of our commitment to client care, we create a record of formal complaints and retain them for a period of at least 6 years. Records are inspected periodically with a view to improving services.

Complaints to the Legal Services Ombudsman
15. We hope you will use our procedure. However, if you would rather not do so or are unhappy with the outcome/final response, or if your complaint has not been dealt with within 8 weeks, you may refer to the Legal Ombudsman.

16. 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. In other words, if we are unable to resolve your complaint then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers.

17. Parties who have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman are individuals and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities. The full list of who has a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman is available on the Legal Ombudsman’s website, available here.

18. The Legal Ombudsman operates under the The Legal Services Act 2007 and Scheme Rules.

Time Limits for Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
19. The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you. In other words:

(a) the time limits for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman are (since 1 April 2023) that the complaint must be referred no later than:
(i) one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
(ii) one year from the date when the complainant should have realised that there was cause for complaint.

(b) Further, you must complain to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint from myself or from my Chambers (provided the response specifically notifies you of your right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman and of the six month time limit). However, the Legal Ombudsman has a discretion to accept out of time complaint. That discretion will be open the Legal Ombudsman where the Legal Ombudsman determines it to be fair and reasonable to do so.

Legal Ombudsman Contact Details

20. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman at:

Office of the Legal Ombudsman
Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806

Telephone Number: 0300 555 0333
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Information on the Legal Ombudsman’s Scheme Rules

21. You can find the Scheme Rules + Guidance about the Scheme Rules, on the Legal Ombudsman’s website, here:

22. In particular, a guide to the Scheme Rules can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website, here.

23. Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website, here:

23. Please consider the Ombudsman’s website for the most up to date information and guidance on any time limits that may affect you and any relevant guidance on the service.

Legal Ombudsman Decision Data

20. You can access the Legal Ombudsman’s Decision Data here. The decision data on Legal Ombudsman’s website shows legal service providers which received an ombudsman’s decision in the previous 12 months. In each case, the data shows whether the Legal Ombudsman required the legal services provider to give the consumer a remedy.

Legal Ombudsman’s Discretion to Consider a Complaint Resolved

20. Since April 2023, the Legal Ombudsman has had a discretion to consider a complaint to have been resolved on the basis of an investigator’s case decision, if neither party provides any substantive reasons for disagreeing with that decision.

21. If the response received to a case decision is one simply of disagreement, where no substantive reason is provided as to why the party disagrees, the matter will be referred to an Legal Ombudsman who will have discretion to make the decision to close the complaint as having been resolved by way of the investigator’s findings. If those findings recommend that a remedy is payable then the Legal Ombudsman would expect the service provider to honour that recommendation. If the service provider fails to do so within a defined period of time, then the complainant could then request that the case be passed to an Legal Ombudsman for a decision which can then be enforced through the courts if necessary.

Civil Mediation Council Mediators – Complaints to the Civil Mediation Council
For complaints against Civil Mediation Council (‘CMC’) registered mediators, in respect to relevant mediation work, if the response is not accepted, the complainant can appeal to the CMC on certain grounds. Details of the CMC complaints procedure can be found, by clicking here