Design Chambers' Complaints Procedure
The members of Design Chambers aim at all times to give you a good and cost-effective service and deliver that service in a way that is not frightening, harassing, discriminatory nor makes our clients feel victimised.
If at any time you have any concerns about - or are dissatisfied with - the service you are receiving or have received, or the manner in which the service is or was being delivered, you are urged to contact us as soon as possible and in any event within six (6) months of the acts or omissions by the relevant member of Design Chambers. If you have a complaint, you do not have to contact us through the solicitors, patent or trade mark attorneys who instructed us.
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Informal Complaints Procedure
In the first instance, you may prefer to make informal contact with the barrister concerned by telephone, or if you wish or feel it would be more appropriate, you can informally call another member of chambers (Richard Hodgson or Owen Keane as appropriate) - please do feel free to do so. Please note that you may be required to identify yourself and you may be requested to give a telephone number so that the barrister can call you back and continue the informal discussion.
The barrister you speak to will discuss your concerns and will attempt to reach an acceptable resolution. The barrister will keep a record of the discussion, including your name and telephone number, the details of your complaint and how you would like the matter to be resolved. If an acceptable resolution can be agreed, the barrister will record the details of the resolution and send a copy of the agreed resolution by e-mail and/or recorded delivery post (as requested by you). You will also be invited to confirm the agreed resolution by e-mail and/or recorded delivery post (as selected by you).
If no informal resolution can be agreed to your satisfaction as set out just above, you may contact us in writing as set out below under "Formal Complaint Procedure".
Formal Complaints Procedure
Your complaint, which should be as detailed as possible, must be set out in writing, addressed to Richard Hodgson or Owen Keane (as appropriate) of Design Chambers.
You are requested in any event to set out: Your name and your real and effective address; the name of the barrister you are complaining about; your complaint; and what you would wish to be done to resolve the complaint.
We will send out an acknowledgement receipt of your complaint within two (2) working days of receiving it. If you have not received any acknowledgement within seven (7) working days of sending your complaint, we would ask that you both telephone and send an e-mail to us at our personal Design Chambers e-mail address as well as to the general e-mail address to find out if your complaint were in fact received.
We will aim to investigate your complaint within 14 days of actual receipt of your complaint. If we are not able to conclude the investigation within 14 days, we will write to you within this 14 day period, setting out the reason for the delay, and give a new date for the expected conclusion of the investigation.
At the conclusion of the investigation, we will send you a report setting out both the nature and scope of the investigation, the conclusion for each complaint you have made as well as the reasons for each conclusion. If the investigation upholds (wholly or in part) your complaint, the report will set out a proposal for resolving the complaint.
All discussions, conversations, communications, documents and records relating to your complaint will be treated as confidential and will only be disclosed as may be reasonably necessary, such as to the barrister complained about, the member of chambers carrying out the investigation and any recognised regulator having jurisdiction over barristers. A full record will be retained of the complaint, its investigation, the report and resolution.
If you are not satisfied following the report arising from a formal complaint
If you are not satisfied with our report and its conclusion(s) arising from your complaint, you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 15870, Birmingham, B30 9EB; Telephone 0300 555 0333; www.legalombudsman.org.uk
The Legal Ombudsman will normally require you to make a complaint within six (6) months of your last contact with chambers, usually when you receive the report of the investigation carried out by chambers, or twelve (12) months from the date when you reasonably should have known that there was reason for making a complaint. However, the Ombudsman may extend time when exceptional circumstances can be established.
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