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Feedback & complaints

The barristers and staff at Hardwicke take pride in aiming to provide an excellent service to clients at all times.  However, we recognise that there may be occasions when clients feel that the level of service has fallen short of that which is expected from someone at Hardwicke.

If that is the case we would prefer to know straight away, so that we can try to do something to rectify the matter immediately to your satisfaction.  If we are not able to resolve matters, we understand that you may feel that you would prefer to make a formal complaint.  We therefore take feedback, complaints and the investigation of them seriously so that we may learn and further improve what we do.


  • Hardwicke Chambers Complaints Procedure

    If you have a complaint, we encourage you to let us know as soon as possible.  We recognise that it is important that all complaints are dealt with promptly, courteously and in a manner which addresses the issues raised in accordance with our procedures and professional obligations.  It is not necessary to involve solicitors in order to make your complaint but you are free to do so should you wish.

    Our Complaints Procedure deals with service issues.  It is not usually appropriate for chambers to deal with allegations of professional negligence or serious misconduct under the Code of Conduct.  In so far as a complaint extends beyond service issues into issues of misconduct we may suggest that it be referred to the Bar Standards Board which regulates all barristers.  In so far as your complaint raises issues of professional negligence the Barrister is required to report the same to their professional indemnity insurers who may elect to deal with it themselves.  You can find a link to the Barristers’ Register on the Bar Standards Board website here.

  • Quality Assurance and Complaints Committee

    We have a Quality Assurance & Complaints Committee whose responsibility is to oversee the Complaints Procedure and reports to the Chambers Management Committee. The Chair of the Committee is a QC supported by experienced Hardwicke barristers and senior members of staff.

    The Complaints Officers are senior barristers who investigate, in rotation subject to adjustment for seniority, conflicts regarding previous decisions or similar factors, any complaint allocated to them with independence, professionalism and objectivity.

    The Complaints Administrator is a senior member of staff who handles all correspondence for complaints, ensuring that all timescales are met, and maintains records of complaints and all related correspondence.

    The Committee is responsible for ensuring that we have a clear, robust, fair and transparent complaints procedure, which meets regulatory requirements with clear timescales, is in place and is adhered to. They determine what lessons can be learnt from complaints made to chambers and make recommendations to the Chambers Management Committee on improvements which could be made to the processes, procedures and client support offered by Hardwicke.

  • Complaints made by telephone

    You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the formal procedure below.  However, if you would rather speak to someone on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone the Complaints Administrator or, in their absence, the Chief Executive.  If the complaint is about the Chief Executive, please telephone one of the Heads of Chambers.  All the contact details are provided at the end of this Procedure.

    The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like to have done about it.  Complaints can be dealt with formally under our complaints procedure or more informally.  It is your choice how to proceed.  Once you have spoken to someone our Complaints Administrator will email you with details of the complaints procedure for formal complaints and, if you have expressed an interest in dealing with the matter informally, the name and contact details of someone who will deal with the matter informally.  If you elect to proceed on an informal basis that person will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them.  If the matter is resolved, they will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the outcome and record that you are satisfied.  You may also wish to record the outcome of the telephone discussion in writing.

    If your complaint is not resolved informally, you will be invited to write to us about it so it can be investigated formally.

  • Hardwicke Chambers’ Harassment Complaints Procedure

    We pride ourselves on a culture of mutual respect and dignity for all persons and do not tolerate harassment or bullying. You can find our Anti-Harassment Policy here.

    However, if you feel that you have been the subject of or have witnessed harassment or bullying by a barrister or member of staff at our chambers then we would prefer to know straight away, so that we can try to do something to rectify the matter immediately, if that is possible. If we are not able to resolve matters, we understand that you may feel that you would prefer to make a formal Harassment Complaint. A copy of our procedure can be found here. We take feedback, complaints and the investigation of them seriously.

    We recognise that it is important that all Harassment Complaints are dealt with promptly, sensitively and in a manner which addresses the issues raised in accordance with our procedures and professional obligations.

  • Formal complaints made in writing

    Please make your complaint by letter or email to the Complaints Administrator who will have the initial responsibility for handling your complaint.  If your complaint is about the Complaints Administrator and you feel uncomfortable about addressing it directly to them, in the first instance, then please send it by letter or email to the Chief Executive.

    It would be helpful if you could include the following information so we can deal with your complaint as effectively as possible:

    • Your contact details including name, address and, if applicable, email address;
    • Whether you are a client, instructing solicitor or had some other role;
    • The name of the Barrister or member of staff you are complaining about;
    • The nature of the complaint;
    • What the Barrister or member of staff was asked to do and what happened or did not happen;
    • What steps you would like to see taken to resolve your complaint.

    Once your formal complaint has been received, the Complaints Administrator will explain to you how it will be handled.  We try to keep this process flexible to take account of different circumstances.  In principle, it will work as follows.

    We will aim to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 4 working days of receipt, or sooner, and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.  You may be asked to provide further information if it is required.  Within 14 days of acknowledging receipt of your complaint, we will write to inform you which Complaints Officer has been appointed and the date by which we aim to send you their response, after a thorough investigation.  This would normally be within 14 days of the Complaints Officer being appointed.  If this is going to take longer for some reason, we will write to you to explain this and also the new date for their response.  Their response 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

    In line with Bar Standards Board guidance, all conversations and documents shall be confidential and disclosed only to the extent necessary.  They may be disclosed only to the complainant, the Barrister complained about, the Heads of Chambers, the Chair of our QACS Committee or relevant senior member of the Committee, the Complaints Officer, the Complaints Administrator (or substitute if absent), the Chief Executive, the Chambers Management Committee (for monitoring purposes) and any other individual with whom enquiries need to be made for the purpose of the investigation

  • Record keeping

    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 a period of six years.

  • Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
  • Contact details

    Complaints Administrator

    Practice Operations Director
    Zoe Mellor
    +44 (0)20 7242 2523


    Other key contacts

    Chief Executive
    Amanda Illing
    +44 (0)20 7242 2523

    Joint Heads of Chambers
    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC

    and PJ Kirby QC

    Hardwicke Building
    New Square
    London WC2A 3SB

    Legal Ombudsman
    PO Box 6806
    WV1 9WJ

    Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
    Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

    Bar Standards Board
    Professional Conduct Department
    289-293 High Holborn
    WC1V 7HZ

    Telephone number: 0207 6111 444
    Website: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk