Our aim is to give you a good service at all times. However, if you have a complaint you are invited to let us know as soon as possible. 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 the Legal Ombudsman, the independent complaints body for service complaints about lawyers, has a twelve-month time limit from the date the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. Chambers must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether they are able to investigate your complaint. Chambers will not deal with complaints that fall outside of the twelve month time limit.
Complaints made by Telephone
You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone James Holdsworth, the barrister responsible for dealing with complaints or, if your complaint is about a member of staff, please ask for Dean Norton the Senior Clerk. If your complaint is about the Senior Clerk please ask for Keith Morton QC, the 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. He will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved, he will record the outcome and record that you are satisfied. You may also wish to request a record 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:
Please address your letter to James Holdsworth. 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.
Our Chambers has a panel headed by James Holdsworth and made up of experience members of Chambers and a senior member of staff, which considers any written complaint. Within 14 days of your letter being received the head of the panel or his deputy in his absence will appoint a member of the panel to investigate it. If your complaint is against the head of the panel, the next most senior member 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 he has been appointed and that he will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If he finds later that he is not going to be able to reply within 14 days he will set a new date for his reply and inform you. His reply will set out:
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, members of the management committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister member or staff you have complained about, the head or relevant senior member of the panel and the person who investigates the complaint. The Bar Standards Boards is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when discharging its audit 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 6 years. Our management committee inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation 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 able to consider your complaint until it has first been investigated by Chambers. Please note that the Legal Ombudsman has a twelve month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining within which to make your complaint. You can write to them at:
PO Box 15870
Tel: 0300 555 0333
On 31 January 2013 the Bar Council withdrew the “Terms of Work on Which Barristers Offer their Services to Solicitors”, which had been the default terms on which barristers have accepted instructions. These were not replaced by any new default terms, thus making it necessary for barristers to agree the terms on which they perform any work.
The “Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons” came into being on 31 January 2013. The Standard Contractual Terms have been introduced by the Bar Standards Board through a process overseen by the Legal Services Board, the umbrella regulatory body for both solicitors and barristers, which considered and approved the Standard Contractual Terms following consultation with interested parties, including the Law Society. The aim of these new Standard Contractual Terms is to modernise the process of referral of work to barristers.
Any new instructions received after 31 January 2013 will be on these terms, unless agreed otherwise.
Please click here to view our contractual terms for privately funded matters.
Please click here to view our contractual terms for CFA matters after 1 April 2013.
Temple Garden Chambers will promote and advance equality of opportunity irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage / civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, religion or belief, political persuasion, sex or sexual orientation. In accordance with the Equality and Diversity Rules of the BSB Handbook, we have adopted an Equality and Diversity Policy. The aim and purpose of the Policy is threefold: to ensure fairness, compliance, and commercial advantage. A copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy is available here.
We adhere to the Bar Standard’s Board requirements for diversity data collection, processing and publication. A copy of our most recent diversity data is available here.