Complaints Policy

April 28, 2014 tags:

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-Papps.  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 4 below.  However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone the chambers director. If the complaint is about her you should telephone Mark Smith, Head of Chambers.  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 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, 4 Royal Crescent, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 3DA. 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.

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, 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.

Our Policy

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: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 15870 Birmingham B30 9EB Telephone: 0300 555 0333 or, if you would prefer to use minicom, 0300 555 1777 (Please note all calls will be recorded). Email:enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk If you are calling from overseas, please call +44 121 245 3050 Further details may be found at:

www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Contact Us:

clerks@cotswoldbarristers.co.uk

Direct Public Access Barristers with Fixed Fees