We aim to provide an excellent quality of service at all times. If you are unsatisfied with any area of our service, we would encourage you to let us know immediately.
In many cases, potential complaints can be resolved informally without resort to the formal complaint’s procedure. If your complaint is about a barrister, you should contact the administration team. Alternatively, if your complaint is about a member of staff, you should direct your complaint to Gregory Bull QC. In our experience, complaints can often be resolved satisfactorily in this way without recourse to the more formal procedure.
Complaints Procedure | Millennium Chambers
Our aim at Millennium Chambers is to give you excellent service at all times. However, if you have a complaint you are invited to let us know as soon as possible. We will investigate promptly, we will not charge for the investigation of any complaint and will provide you with a final response within six weeks.
It is not necessary to involve solicitors in order 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.
Those time limits are:
a) Six years from the date of the act or omission
b) Three years from the date that the complainant should have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago)
c) Within six months of the complaint receiving a final response from their lawyer, if that response complies with the requirements in rule 4.4 of the Scheme Rules (which requires the response to include prominently an explanation that the Legal Ombudsman was available if the complainant remained dissatisfied and the provision of full contact details for the Ombudsman and a warning that the complaint must be referred to them within six months.
The Ombudsman can only extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances.
Please note that Millennium Chambers will only consider complaints that are raised within 12 months from the date of the act or omission.
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 investigate satisfactorily 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.
Complaints Made by Telephone
You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in the paragraph below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please contact our Director of Clerking, Richard Fowler. If the complaint is about Richard Fowler please contact our Head of Chambers, Greg Bull QC. The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like to have done about it. He will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved he will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the outcome and record that. You may also wish to record the outcome of the telephone discussion in writing. You will be sent a copy of the written record made of your telephone discussion and a copy will also be sent to your solicitor.
If your complaint is not resolved on the telephone you will be invited to write to us about it so that 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, including date, time and place where appropriate, e.g. the Court that the case took place at
- What you would like done about it
Please address your letter to Richard Fowler and post it to Chambers at Millennium Chambers, Suite 303 Cocoa Studios, The Biscuit Factory, 100 Drummond Road, Southwark, London, SE16 4DG.
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.
Millennium Chambers has a panel headed by Greg Bull QC who will consider any written complaint. 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 the nature and scope of his investigation and his conclusion on 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.
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, the Director of Clerking and anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister(s) or staff member(s) 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.
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.
Complaints to the Bar Standards Board (the regulatory arm of the Bar Council, who are the professional body for barristers)
We hope that you will use our procedure. However, if you would rather not do so or are unhappy with the outcome you do have the choice of taking up your complaint with the Bar Standards Board at any time.
Please note that the Bar Standards Board has a six-month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. However, should you raise your complaint with chambers first, there is a three-month time limit from the conclusion of the investigation by chambers in which to raise your complaint with the Board.
Bar Standards Board Professional Conduct Department, 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ Telephone number: 0207 611 1444.
You can search for barristers who are authorised to practise in England and Wales on the Barristers’ Register. It records their practising status and address, the reserved legal activities they are authorised to undertake and whether they have been the subject of any disciplinary findings. Unregistered barristers and barristers who have been disbarred are not on the Register as they are not allowed to practise. But you can still find out whether they have had a disciplinary finding here.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation and you fall within its 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 usually 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 above.
You can write to them at Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
Please note that the Legal Ombudsman will only deal with complaints from consumers. This means that only complaints from the barrister’s client are within his/her jurisdiction. Nonclients who are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation should contact the Bar Standards Board rather than the Legal Ombudsman.
The Office for Legal Complaints is empowered by the Legal Services Act 2007 to publish information on ombudsman decisions. “Our Board has instructed us to do this on our website. The information we publish is a simple and transparent record of decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman.”
Suite 303 Cocoa Studios,
The Biscuit Factory,
100 Drummond Road,
Tel: 0203 786 6170
"Regulated by the Bar Standards Board"