9 Gough Chambers prides itself on the excellence of its service. If at any time you have any concerns about the quality of the services of our barristers or members of staff you are invited to let us know as soon as possible.

In most cases this may be resolved informally and therefore in the first instance we would always encourage you to discuss any day-to-day concerns about the services of our barristers directly with them. Any such concerns can also always be raised with our clerking team, and, in particular, Michael Goodridge, our Director of Clerking and Business Development.

Any concerns about members of staff should be raised with Gordon Walters, Director of Operations. If the complaint is about him then discuss the matter with the Head of Chambers.

We would very much hope that the matter can be resolved at this point, and that you will be satisfied with the outcome.

However, if you feel that the concern or matter you have raised has not been dealt with to your satisfaction, then you may wish to make a formal complaint. We set out the steps in our formal complaints procedure below.

Formal complaints procedure

Please address your formal letter of complaint to Gordon Walters, 5 Norwich Street, London, EC4A 1DR or email gwalters@9goughchambers.co.uk Please give the following details: your name and address, which member(s) of Chambers (or staff) you are complaining about; the detail of the complaint
It would also assist us if you told us what you would like done about it.

Within 21 days of your letter being received the Head of Chambers, or their deputy in their absence, will investigate the complaint themselves in conjunction with such other personnel as may assist in the investigation. If your complaint is against the Head of Chambers it will be investigated by the next most senior member of our Management Committee. In any case, the person(s) investigating the complaint will be other than the person you are complaining about.

The person handling the investigation will write to you as soon as possible to let you know they have been appointed and that they will reply to your complaint within 21 days. If they find later that they are not going to be able to reply within 21 days they will set a new date for their reply and inform you. Their reply will set out: the nature and scope of their investigation; their conclusion on each complaint and the basis for their conclusion; and, if they find that you are justified in your complaint, their proposals for resolving the complaint.

Confidentiality

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, Director of Operations and Director of Clerking and Business Development and will include anyone else we consider necessary to involve in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister member or staff member about whom you have complained. If such a complaint is made, we will assume that you are authorising those investigating the complaint to view all the papers or other correspondence relevant to the matter.

Our policy

As part of our commitment to client care we will make a written record of any formal complaint.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

We hope that you will use our procedure. However, if you would rather not do so, or are unhappy with the outcome, you may have the choice of taking up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman. You can write to the Legal Ombudsman at:

Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Tel: 0300 555 0333

Website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk

As set out on the Legal Ombudsman’s website here, there may be a time limit applicable to any complaint you may wish to make.  Ordinarily you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to look at your complaint if it meets all three of the following criteria: (i) the problem or when you found out about it happened after 5 October 2010; (ii) you are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following: six years of the problem happening or three years from when you found out about it; and (iii) you are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of any final response from your service provider.

The decision data on the Legal Ombudsman’s website can be accessed here.

The decision data on the Legal Ombudsman’s website shows providers which received an ombudsman’s decision in the previous calendar year. In each case, the data shows whether the Legal Ombudsman required the provider to give the consumer a remedy.

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