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Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

Twenty Essex
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

Twenty Essex
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Our aim is to always give all our clients a good service. However, if you have a complaint you are invited to let Stephen Atherton QC or one of the individuals identified in paragraph 3 below know as soon as possible. It is not necessary to involve solicitors 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 time limits in which a complaint must be raised with them. Details can be found in section 4 of the Ombudsman’s Rules at http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/downloads/documents/publications/Scheme-Rules.pdf but in summary the following requirements must ordinarily be satisfied:

1. Time Limit from Final Response.

The complaint must be referred to the Ombudsman within six months from the date of the
lawyer’s final response to the complaint, provided the response complies with the Ombudsman’s
rules.

2. Time Limit from Act/omission.

The act or omission, or when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint,
must have been after 5 October 2010.

You must refer the complaint to the Ombudsman no later than:
a) Six years from the act or omission; or
b) Three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for
complaint.

The Ombudsman can extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances. Chambers must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether they are able to investigate your complaint. Chambers will not therefore usually deal with complaints that fall outside of the Legal Ombudsman’s time limits. The Ombudsman will also only deal with complaints from consumers. This means that only complaints from the barrister’s client are within their jurisdiction. Non-clients who are not satisfied with the outcome of the Chambers’ investigation should contact the Bar Standards Board rather than the Legal Ombudsman.

It should be noted that it may not always be possible to investigate a complaint brought by a non-client. This is because the ability of Chambers to satisfactorily investigate and resolve such matters is limited and complaints of this nature are often better suited to the disciplinary processes maintained by the Bar Standards Board. Therefore, Chambers will make an initial assessment of the complaint and if they feel that the issues raised cannot be satisfactorily resolved through the Chambers complaints process, they will refer you to the Bar Standards Board.

3. 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 one of the individuals nominated under the Chambers’ Complaints Procedure to deal with complaints – our Chief Executive Officer (if the complaint is about a barrister, a member of the practice management team or practice support staff) or our Compliance and Governance Manager (if any other member of Chambers’ staff). If the complaint concerns a member of the Chambers’ senior management team, please telephone the chair of our Employee Committee, David Lewis QC. The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. They 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.

Please telephone 0207 842 1200

4. 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 appropriate individual nominated under paragraph 3 above, at 20 Essex Street, London, WC2R 3AL. We will, where possible, acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with. Our Chambers has a panel headed by Stephen Atherton 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 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.

The person appointed to investigate will write to you as soon as possible to let you know they have been appointed and that they will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If they find 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. The reply will set out:

  • The nature and scope of the investigation;
  • The conclusion on each complaint and the basis for the conclusion; and
  • If they find that you are justified in your complaint, their proposals for resolving the
    complaint.

5. Confidentiality

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.

6. Our Policy

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 inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.

7. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation and you fall within the jurisdiction 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 the timeframe for referral of complaints to the Ombudsman as set out at
paragraph 2 above.

You can write to them at:

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806

Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

Telephone number: 0300 555 0333

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

If you are not the barrister’s client and are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation then please contact the Bar Standards Board at:

Bar Standards Board Professional Conduct Department

289-293 High Holborn

London WC1V 7JZ

Telephone number: 0207 6111 444

Website : www.barstandardsboard.org.uk