Khadija’s aim is to give all clients a good service at all times. However if you have a complaint please let Khadija know as soon as possible, by telephone or in writing. Khadija will treat your complaint as confidential although Khadija may discuss it with other barristers or officials from the Bar Standards Board for their advice. Khadija will not reveal your name to others unless she is setting up mediation or arbitration. Khadija will deal with your complaint promptly.
Khadija will maintain confidentiality at all times and discuss your complaint only to the extent that is necessary for its resolution and to comply with requests for information from the Bar Standards Board discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.
Khadija will retain all correspondence and other documents generated in the course of your complaint for a period of six years and will review complaints at least once a year to ensure that she maintains good standards of service.
Procedure for dealing with your complaint
There are a number of ways in which your complaint may be dealt with:
Discussion over the telephone
Dealt with by correspondence
Discussion at a meeting between us
The appointment of a mediator who will try to facilitate the resolution of your complaint
The appointment of an arbitrator whose decision we both agree shall be binding.
Complaints made by telephone
If you wish to make a complaint by telephone, Khadija will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. Khadija will endeavour to resolve matters with you on the telephone. If after discussion you are satisfied with the outcome Khadija will make a note of the outcome and the fact that you are satisfied. Khadija may also wish to make note of the discussion and outcome. If you are not satisfied you may wish to make a written complaint.
Complaints made in writing
If you wish to make a written complaint please provide Khadija the following details:-
Your name, telephone number an address;
The detail of your complaint; and
What you would like done about it.
Procedure after receiving a complaint.
Upon receipt of a written complaint Khadija will:
a.) Reply in writing, normally within 48 hours, to acknowledge the complaint and inform you how she shall be dealing with it.
b.) Reply within 14 days responding in full to your complaint. Khadija will offer you the opportunity to meet with you if that is appropriate. If Khadija finds later that she is not going to be able to reply within 14 days she will set a new date for her reply and inform you. Khadija’s reply will set out:
The nature and scope of her investigation;
Her conclusion on each complaint and the basis for her conclusion; and
If she finds that you are justified in your complaint, her proposals for resolving the complaint.
Resolving complaints by appointing an arbitrator or a mediator.
If you are not happy with Khadija’s final written response you may ask for mediation or arbitration or, if you fall within their jurisdiction, you may make a formal complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints handling body for complaints about lawyers.
If Khadija and you decide to appoint an arbitrator or a mediator Khadija and you would need to both agree how the arbitrator / mediator should approach his/her task and the limit of the compensation that can be awarded.
The Bar Sole Practitioners Group (BSPG) or local Circuit will be approached and a barrister will be appointed to arbitrate. We will decide together whether it will be the BSPG or the local Circuit who should be approached. However neither Khadija or yoy may veto the person chosen. It is expected that the BSPG and the Circuit will chose someone who has considerable experience in the area that is the subject matter of the dispute.
Mediations services are provided by ProMediate or Small Claims Mediation.
If mediation or arbitration does not resolve the complaint, you may still complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
Your right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO).
You have a right to complain to Legal Ombudsman (LeO), the independent complaints body for service complaints about lawyers.
The LeO will also only deal with complaints from consumers. This means that only complaints from the barrister's client, and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities are within their jurisdiction. A full list of who has a right to complain to the LeO is available on their website:https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/?faqs=who-can-use-our-service.
Non-clients who are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation should contact the Bar Standards Board rather than the LeO. It should be noted that it may not always be possible to investigate a complaint brought by a non-client. This is because Khadija’s ability 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, Khadija will make an initial assessment of the complaint and if Khadija feels that the issues raised cannot be satisfactorily resolved through her complaints process she will refer you to the Bar Standards Board.
You may want to review the decision data on LeO’s website here: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions/#ombudsman-decision-data. The decision data shows providers an ombudsman’s decision in the previous 12 months. In each case, the data shows whether the LeO required the provider to give the consumer a remedy.
Time-limits for bringing a complaint with the LeO.
The LeO has time limits in which a complaint must be raised with them.
The time limits are:
Within six months of the complaint receiving a final response from the barrister or if your complaint has not been dealt with in eight weeks;
Six years from the date of your barrister’s the actions / failure to act; or
No later than three years from the date that you should have reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint.
How to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
You can write to the Legal Ombudsman at:
PO Box 6806,
Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
More information is available about the Legal Ombudsman on their website:https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/
Complaints to the Bar Standards Board.
If you are not Khadija’s client and are unhappy with the outcome of her investigation then please contact the Bar Standards Board at:
Bar Standards Board Professional Conduct Department
Telephone number: 0207 6111 444
Updated: 4 October 2019