What should I do if I have a complaint against my Barrister?
Complaints about the outcome of any particular case will generally not form the basis for a complaint. Your barrister will be able to advise you as to whether there may be grounds to appeal a particular decision.
If however, you have a complaint about the conduct of your barrister or the way in which they conducted your case, please put your complaint in writing to the individual barrister concerned. A barrister is required to deal with all complaints courteously, promptly and in a manner that addresses the issues raised by the complaint. If you feel that writing to the individual would be inappropriate given the nature of the complaint, then please address your complaint to us using the Contact Us tab above, or in writing, to:
The Head of Chambers
The Lewis Building
35 Bull Street
The nature and speed of any response will depend upon the precise circumstances. For example, if your complaint is that the barrister has been negligent, he or she is required to inform his or her insurers and those insurers may need to be consulted about the response.
If you are unhappy with the response or not satisfied with the way in which your complaint was considered then you may contact The Bar Standards Board (BSB), the regulator for barristers. They investigate complaints against barristers and take action against those who break the rules of the code of conduct. They do this in the interests of the public and to maintain the good name and standards of the profession. There is no charge for making a complaint to them.
The Bar Standards Board can be contacted at:
Complaints and Investigations Department,
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
London WC1V 7HZ
Main Switchboard: 020 7611 1444
Fax: 020 7611 1342
If you are not satisfied with the way in which The Bar Standards Board considered your complaint, you may contact the Legal Services Ombudsman to investigate how they handled it. The Ombudsman is not a lawyer. If the Ombudsman thinks that the complaint was not investigated properly, he can recommend that the complaint be reconsidered or that the BSB and/or the barrister pay compensation.
The Ombudsman’s address is:
The Legal Services Ombudsman
Manchester M3 3JZ.
Lo-call number: 0845 6010794 (charged at local rates and available nationally)
CSR is defined as the integration of business operations and values, whereby the interests of all members, employees, clients, the community and the environment are reflected in Chambers’ policies and actions.
Purpose and Aims
The purpose of this policy is to make clear what we mean by CSR and how we propose to work towards achieving it. The CSR policy governs our approach to all our activities. As a responsible organisation, 43 Temple Row recognises that its activities have a wider impact on the society in which it operates so we consider our collective and individual responsibilities by becoming active and conscientious members of society.
We recognise that good CSR embraces all aspects of sustainable development and the way we affect people through our activities.
Equality and Fairness
We shall operate in a way that safeguards against unfair business practices and take a responsible approach when developing relationships with our clients and their interests. 43 Temple Row are committed to equal opportunities, practice and procedures. These standards apply from staffing to the appointment of tenants with the administration of mini-pupillages and acceptance of instructions. Chambers maintains full compliance the Bar Code of Conduct. Chambers promote flexible working and a sensible work-life balance for all members, pupils and clerks.
We recognise that our activities have an impact on the environment. 43 Temple Row are committed to ensuring that we act in an environmentally responsible manner and to minimise our environmental impact through:-
- Reducing waste
- Encouraging recycling wherever possible
- Being mindful of our carbon footprint and taking steps to minimise this
- Making a commitment not to waste valuable resources such as water, paper and electricity
- Making a commitment to run a semi-paperless office
We are dedicated to regular charitable activity including fundraising events, community involvement and pro bono work. Members of 43 Temple Row are committed to undertaking publicly funded and pro bono work and are dedicated to ensuring the highest possible level of representation in all aspects of work, whether it is privately funded, publicly funded or on a pro bono basis.
The legal community
43 Temple Row are committed to “giving back” to the legal community. We welcome applications for mini-pupillage and will endeavour to offer full pupillage in the future. In addition Chambers will ensure that training and support is provided to all our barristers, pupils, mini-pupils and clerks.
New Contractual Terms
The new default standard terms which members of Chambers will be offering where services are supplied to or at the request of solicitors (or other persons authorised and regulated by the Law Society or the SRA) will be the standard contractual terms 2012 prepared by the Bar Council.*
In the absence of any other agreement between you and the barrister these standard terms will govern the relationship between the barrister and the authorised person.
Nothing will change in the service provided on a day-to-day basis by reason of the adoption of those terms.
For full details of the new terms please click here.
*Instructions received in respect of Civil (non-family) legal aid work are accepted pursuant to the Standard Contractual Terms published by the Bar Council in January 2014 which can be viewed here.
Standard Contractual Terms (see attached item 2)
General Data Protection Policy (Copy attached)
Halcyon Chambers is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.
This policy only applies to our site. If you leave our site via a link or otherwise, you will be subject to the policy of that website provider. We have no control over that policy or the terms of the website and you should check their policy before continuing to access the site.
INFORMATION WE MAY COLLECT FROM YOU
We may collect and process the following data about you:
- Information that you provide by filling in forms on our site [www.43templerow.co.uk] (our site). This includes information provided at the time of registering to use our site, subscribing to our service or requesting further services. We may also ask you for information when you report a problem with our site.
- If you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence.
- We may also ask you to complete surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them.
- Details of your visits to our site including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs, operating system, browser usage and other communication data, whether this is required for our own billing purposes or otherwise and the resources that you access.
IP ADDRESSES AND COOKIES
We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration and to report aggregate information to our advertisers. This is statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual and we will not collect personal information in this way.
We may obtain information about your general internet usage by using a cookie file which is stored on the hard drive of your computer. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive. They help us to improve our site and to deliver a better and more personalised service. They enable us:
- To estimate our audience size and usage pattern.
- To store information about your preferences, and so allow us to customise our site according to your individual interests.
- To speed up your searches.
- To recognise you when you return to our site.
WHERE WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Equality and Diversity Policy and Action Plan
This policy sets out Chambers’ values and intentions concerning equality and diversity.
“Diversity” refers to the fact that individuals are different. “Equality” refers to equality between individuals.
This policy takes account of best practice guidelines and codes issued by the EHRC, ACAS and Bar Council Guidance and Code of Conduct.
The word ‘Member’ herein refers to tenants, probationary tenants, third-sixers, squatters, or any other barrister practicing from Chambers.
What this policy covers
Chambers recognizes the benefits of a diverse workforce and is committed to providing a working environment that is free from discrimination and where every member, pupil and employee fees valued and has a fair and equitable quality of life.
Chambers will seek to promote the principles of equality and diversity in all its dealings with members, pupils and employees, workers, job applicants, clients, suppliers, contractors, recruitment agencies and the public.
All members, pupils and employees and those who act on the Chambers’ behalf are required to adhere to this policy when undertaking their duties or when representing Chambers in any other guise.
Entitlements and responsibilities of members, pupils and employees.
Unlawful discrimination of any kind in the working environment will not be tolerated and Chambers will take all necessary action to prevent its occurrence.
Discrimination can be direct or indirect.
Direct discrimination occurs when someone or a group is treated less well, in comparison with someone else, because of their gender, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic origin), pregnancy/maternity, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part-time status, age, religion or belief.
In addition to the protected characteristics listed above, Chambers also believes that it should attempt to eliminate discrimination, and promote equality of opportunity, with reference to an individual’s socioeconomic background. This characteristic will be treated by Chambers on a par with the characteristics provided by the law.
Chambers aims to ensure that no member, pupil, employee or job applicant is subject to discrimination, either directly or indirectly, on any of the grounds listed above. This commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including:
- Recruitment and selection, including advertisements, job descriptions, interview and selection procedures
- Reasonable adjustments for people with disability
- Promotion and career-development opportunities
- Fair access to work
- Allocation of unassigned work
- Networking and business development opportunities
- Terms and conditions of employment, and access to employment-related benefits and facilities
- Grievance handling and the application of disciplinary procedures
- Selection for redundancy
All members and employees are responsible for their own behaviour and must ensure that this is consistent with this policy at all times. Failure to comply with this policy will be treated very seriously and may result in action being taken in accordance with Chambers Constitution.
Recruitment and career development
While positive measures may be taken to encourage under-represented groups to apply for employment opportunities, recruitment to all positions will be based solely on merit.
Chambers is committed to ensuring that all work is distributed to members and pupils fairly and that no requests that are discriminatory will be accepted.
Chambers will also take appropriate steps, through training, communication and reinforcement of this policy together with the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales, to ensure that all of its employment practices are carried out in fair and equitable way and free from bias.
Complaints of discrimination
Chambers will treat seriously all complaints of discrimination made by members, pupils, employees, clients, customers, suppliers, contractors or other third parties and will take action where appropriate.
If a member, pupil or employee believes that they have been discriminated against, have witnessed discrimination or have been asked to carry out a task that they believe to be discriminatory, they are encouraged to raise the matter as soon as possible with an appropriate member of the Management
Committee, or the Equality and Diversity Officer.
Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and investigated thoroughly. If a member, pupil or employee makes an allegation of discrimination, Chambers is committed to ensuring that they are protected from victimisation, harassment or less favourable treatment. Any such incidents will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.
Investigating accusations of unlawful discrimination
If a member, pupil or employee is accused of unlawful discrimination, Chambers will investigate the matter fully.
If the investigation and subsequent disciplinary hearing concludes that the reported actions amount to unlawful discrimination, the individual concerned will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal without notice for gross misconduct for an employee (or Pupil) or expulsion under the Chambers Constitution for a Member. Any such actions would also, where appropriate, be referred to the Bar Standards Board or Institute of Barristers’ Clerks.
Chambers’ Management Committee is responsible for ensuring that actions and decisions taken are consistent with this policy and for ensuring that it’s Constitution, employment and operational policies are inclusive of legislative requirements.
The Chambers Management Committee are responsible for dealing with any allegation of discrimination, bullying or harassment as a very serious matter and for taking appropriate action.
Equality and Diversity Officer
Thomas Green is Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer. His responsibility is to be available to members of staff and colleagues to give advice and discuss any problems in connection with equality issues and to provide advice, if required, on the informal resolution of grievances that may exist.
Monitoring and publication of Equality and Diversity Data
Chambers Diversity Data Officer monitors data from Pupillage, member of staff recruitment exercises and Chambers membership. The allocation of unassigned work is analysed regularly and any actions necessary to remedy or investigate unfair outcomes have been/will be developed and added to Chambers’ Equality Action Plan.
Equality Action Plan
Based on the findings of Chambers monitoring of Equality and Diversity data, Chambers has developed an Equality Action Plan and this will be subject to regular review.
Our current action plan is:
- Ensure that Chambers’ recruitment procedures comply with law and guidance, the Bar Council Fair Recruitment Guide, and as fair;
- Take active steps to promote recruitment among groups that are under-represented in Chambers;
- Ensure that work allocation is done fairly and according to a written policy, and that statistics are gathered to measure outcomes;
- Ensure that proper monitoring takes place of Chambers diversity;
- Identify where respecting diversity and promoting opportunity can give rise to opportunities in our practice.