Complaints Policy

Our aim at Pavocat Chambers is always to provide you with the best possible service. However, in the event that you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, you are invited to contact us as soon as possible, so that we may address your concerns.

1. When should you complain?

Experience tells us that, very often, potential complaints can be resolved informally, because they may have arisen through a misunderstanding and can be remedied without resorting to the full complaints’ procedure.

Wherever possible, we encourage you to take up your complaint with the person responsible in the first instance. If the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, it is open to you to make a formal complaint using the guidance detailed below.

A formal complaint will be dealt with if it is made within six months of the date of the cause of the complaint or when informal resolution has failed, whichever is the later.

2.  How to make a complaint

a) By telephone

If you wish to make your complaint over the telephone, then please call:

+44 (0)20 7129 1308 and ask to speak to James Johnstone.

If your complaint is about Mr Johnstone, please ask to speak to Lee Marler, 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. S/he will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them.

If the matter is resolved to your satisfaction, s/he will record the outcome in writing and check that you are satisfied that no further action is required.

If your complaint is not resolved over the telephone, you will be invited to write to us about it within the next 14 days so that it can be investigated formally.

b) In writing

Please provide the following details:

  • Your name and address;
  • The member(s) of Pavocat Chambers’ staff and/or its barristers which you wish to complain about;
  • The details of the complaint;
  • What you would like to be done about it.

Please address your letter to:  James Johnstone, Pavocat Chambers, 25 Southampton Buildings, London WC2A 1AL.  Alternatively, if your complaint is regarding Mr Johnstone, you can address your letter to Lee Marler at the same address.

We will, where possible acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with.

3.  Complaint investigation

It is the role of the Head of Chambers to determine what has gone wrong and you should expect to receive a full written response within 14 days.  If your complaint concerns the Head of Chambers, you can expect to hear from James Johnstone (Pavocat Chambers’ Chief Operating Officer).

However, if the matter raises issues which, in the opinion of the Head of Chambers, require an investigator to determine the facts, they will appoint a suitable member of Chambers to carry out an investigation.

A letter will be sent to you within 14 days of your complaint informing you who has been appointed. The investigator will then have access to all the relevant documents, will be able to interview witnesses and may need to contact you for further information.

The investigator will then produce a report to the Head of Chambers as soon as possible, ordinarily within 14 days of his or her appointment. If it is not possible to meet this deadline the Head of Chambers will write to you and inform you when the investigation is expected to be concluded.

The Head of Chambers will consider the report and write to you, setting out the nature of the investigation. They will inform you whether your complaint is upheld or rejected, setting out the reasons why. When a complaint is upheld the letter will set out or include a proposal for resolving the complaint

5.  Confidentiality

All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that it is necessary. Disclosure will be to the Chair of the Chambers’ Management Committee, members of the Management Committee and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister or staff member who have been complained about, the head or relevant senior member investigating the complaint.

The Bar Standards Board is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.

6.  Our Policy

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. Our Management Committee inspects an anonymised record regularly with a view to improving services.

7.  Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman.

You have six months from the date of our final letter in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. You can write to them at:

Complaints Team

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

Telephone:+44 (0)300 555 0333

Email address: