If you wish to make a complaint
Five Paper is committed to giving an excellent service at all times to our lay and professional clients alike. In the event that any of our clients are dissatisfied with the professional service or personal treatment they have received from one of our barristers or members of staff we take such matters very seriously.
Any written complaint received by us is dealt with in accordance with Chambers Complaints Procedure, which has been drafted so as to comply with paragraph 403.5(d) and Annex S to the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. A copy is available from the clerks upon request.
All of our clients have the right to pursue any complaint to the Legal Services Ombudsman or alternatively may submit a grievance to the Complaints Commissioner at the Bar Standards Board following the conclusion of our complaints process.
An overview of Chambers Complaints Procedure
- The procedure operates as a two-stage complaints procedure.
- A client with a complaint relating to any of our barristers or members of staff is invited to set out the details of their complaint in writing.
- At the first stage of the procedure the complaint is referred to the Chairman of our Complaints Panel (or another nominated member), who will in turn discuss the complaint with the barrister or member of staff about whom the complaint relates. The Chairman will attempt to resolve the complaint by agreement between the complainant and the barrister or member of staff concerned. It is envisaged that the majority of complaints will be satisfactorily resolved at this first stage.
- In the event that the complaint remains unresolved, the complaint is then dealt with under stage two of the procedure, which involves an investigation and determination by our Complaints Panel consisting of the Chairman and two further appointed members. A determination under stage two will ordinarily be made within 21 days of the complaint progressing to stage two and a written report will be produced by the Complaints Panel detailing their conclusions and the course of action to be taken.
- Under stage two the Complaints Panel may impose various measures including the dismissal of a complaint, the requirement for a barrister to write a letter of apology or explanation, the requirement for a barrister to waive or repay all or part of his or her professional fees, the requirement for a barrister to pay compensation, a decision to refer the matter to the Bar Standards Board or a decision to implement Chambers Staff Disciplinary Procedure. A comprehensive list of the powers available to the Complaints Panel is set out under paragraph 5.6 of Chambers Complaints Procedure.
- In the event that the Complaints Panel imposes a requirement that the barrister complained about is to pay compensation or recommends that Chambers considers the expulsion of the barrister complained about, the barrister concerned has a right of appeal which must be exercised within 7 days following notification of the Complaints Panel’s decision. Any such appeal will be determined by a person nominated by the Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of Chambers Complaints Procedure in more detail or wish to make a complaint please contact one of our clerks on 020 7815 3200.