Policies and Compliance
Charlotte Brown is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. She is registered with The Bar Standards Board [Bar Ref 51955] and is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 8074/013] to provide legal services; please refer to the BMIF website for full details of the world-wide cover provided. The Bar Standards Board Register may be found here. She is registered for VAT under the reference 194 4186 81.
Standard Contractual Terms
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, Charlotte accepts instructions from authorised persons on Chambers’ default contractual terms.
Public Access instructions will be accepted on different terms, which include provisions specific to Public Access instructions. These will be agreed on a case by case basis.
The Tax Bar, unlike many other areas of the Bar, considers itself clearly within the remit of the regulated sector. Therefore this requires us to take steps to identify not just the Professional client (i.e. those instructing us) but also the lay client, by requesting Money Laundering Client information.
Charlotte is committed to providing a first class service to all clients. However, should you have cause to complain, please let us know as soon as possible.
As she is a sole practitioner, she does not have anyone else within Chambers to refer your complaint to, but she would happily discuss the matter with colleagues at another set of Chambers or the Bar Standards Board in order to get an alternative and independent point of view.
She will aim to deal with any complaints promptly, fairly, courteously and proportionately, in a manner which addresses the issues raised.
Chambers will only consider a complaint if it is made no later than the later of:
a) Six years from the act or omission complained of: or
b) Three years from the date when the complainant should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint.
Complaints made by telephone
Charlotte will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you feel should be done about it. She will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved the outcome will be recorded, having ensured beforehand that you are satisfied with the outcome. You may also wish to record the outcome of the telephone discussion in writing.
Complaints made in writing
If your complaint is not resolved on the telephone you will be invited to write to Charlotte about it within the following 14 days so that it can be investigated formally. It would be helpful if you could provide details of:
1. Your contact details;
2. The nature of your compliant;
3. The dates pertaining to the events complained about;
4. Details of any solicitor, Tax Advisor or Accountant who was also instructed in relation to the matters complained about; and
5. Options you consider appropriate to resolve your complaint.
Charlotte will aim to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days and reply fully within 21 working days from receipt of your complaint. If it is found later that this is not possible, you will be notified within 21 working days of a new date for a response. The response will set out:
a) The nature and scope of the investigation;
b) The conclusion on each complaint and the basis for the conclusion; and
c) If that finds that you are justified in your complaint, Charlotte’s proposals for resolving the complaint.
All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that is necessary. If such a complaint is made it is assumed that you are authorising those investigating the complaint to view all of the relevant papers or other correspondence relating to your complaint.
As part of Charlotte’s commitment to client care she will make a written record of any complaint.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
In the event that you are not happy to raise your complaint with Charlotte directly, or having done so you are still not happy with her response, then you may refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Generally, the Legal Ombudsman will only consider your complaint if you have first used the Chambers complaints procedure, but the Ombudsman will consider a complaint where there has been no resolution under our complaints procedure within 8 weeks of your complaint, or may agree to deal with your complaint in the first instance as Charlotte is a sole practitioner.
You should note that not all clients have the right to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and those excluded from the scheme include:
· most businesses (unless they are defined as micro-enterprises)
· charities or clubs with an annual income of more than £1m
· trustees of trusts with an asset value of more than £1m.
Where a written response has been sent to you under Chambers’ own complaints procedure, you must complain to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of that written response.
You can contact the Legal Ombudsman using the following details:
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
PO Box 6806
Decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman within the last twelve months, about legal service providers, can be accessed at: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions.
Complaints to the Bar Standards Board
The Ombudsman will only deal with complaints from consumers. This means that only complaints from the barrister’s clients are within their jurisdiction. Non-clients who are not satisfied with the outcome of Chambers’ investigation should contact the Bar Standards Board. You can write to the Bar Standards Board at:
289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ
Telephone: 020 7611 1444