- Scott Farnsworth is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB): his membership number is 27602. You can search the Barristers’ Register on the BSB’s website; see paragraph 2 below. The register shows whether a barrister has a current practising certificate, and whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings, which are published on the BSB website in accordance with BSB policy.
- You can contact the BSB at Bar Standards Board, Professional Conduct Department, 289-293 High Holborn, London WC1V 7JZ. Telephone the BSB on 020 76111 444 or email the BSB at email@example.com. Please see the Barristers’ Register page appears on the BSB website, or visit www.barstandardsboard.org.uk
- Scott’s aim is to give you a good service at all times. In the event you have a complaint, however, you are invited to let Scott know as soon as possible. It is not necessary to involve solicitors in order to make your complaint, but you are free to do so, should you wish.
- In the first instance you should follow Scott’s complaints procedure. Scott will deal with any complaint, as quickly as possible.
Complaints made by telephone
- You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in paragraph 9 below. In the event, however, you would rather speak on the telephone to discuss your complaint then please telephone Scott on the number provided to you during your instructions.
- Due to work commitments, it may be necessary for Scott to arrange with you to return your call at a time that is convenient to you and Scott. You will receive a telephone call from Scott at the time, and on the date agreed, and in any event within 3 working days. Scott will make a note of the details of your complaint, and what you would like to have done about it. Scott will discuss your concerns with you, and aim to resolve them over the telephone.
- In the event the matter is resolved, Scott 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.
- In the event your complaint is not resolved on the telephone, you will be invited to write to Scott about your complaint, in order that it can be investigated formally.
Complaints made in writing
- If you wish to make a written complaint then please provide Scott with the following information: (1) your name and address; (2) the details of your complaint; and (3) how you would like your complaint to be resolved.
- Please address your written complaint to Scott’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Scott will, where possible, acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days, and provide you with details of how your complaint will be dealt with, and the necessary timeframe.
- You should receive a written outcome to your complaint within 21 working days of Scott’s acknowledgment, unless otherwise agreed with you in writing. The outcome letter will set out: (1) the nature and scope of Scott’s investigation; (2) the conclusion on each complaint, and the basis for each conclusion; and (3) in the event it is found that you are justified in your complaint, the proposal for resolving the complaint.
Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman
- You can complain to the Legal Ombudsman (LEO), the independent complaints body for service complaints about lawyers, in the event you are unhappy with Scott’s response to your complaint, or in the event your complaint has not been resolved by Scott within 8 weeks of your first notification to Scott regarding the complaint. Clients who have a right to complain to the LEO are individuals and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities. The full list of who has a right to complain to the LEO is available on the LEO’s website.
- Please be aware the LEO has time limits in which a complaint must be raised with them. The time limits are: (1) 6 years from the date of the act/omission complained of; (2) no more than 3 years from the date that the complainant should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6thOctober 2010 or was more than 6 years ago); or (3) within 6 months of the complaint receiving a final response from Scott, if that response complies with the requirements in rule 4.4 of the Scheme Rules, which requires the response to include prominently an explanation that the LEO was available if the complainant remained dissatisfied, and the provision of full contact details for the LEO, and a warning that the complaint must be referred to them within 6 months.
- The LEO can extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances. Scott must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether he is able to investigate your complaint. Scott will not, therefore, usually deal with complaints that fall outside of the LEO’s time limits.
- The LEO will also only deal with complaints from clients. This means that only complaints from Scott’s clients are within the jurisdiction of the LEO. Non-clients who are not satisfied with the outcome of Scott’s investigation should contact the BSB rather than the LEO.
- It should be noted that it may not always be possible to investigate a complaint brought by a non-client. This is because Scott’s ability to satisfactorily investigate and resolve such matters is limited and complaints of this nature are often better suited to the disciplinary processes maintained by the BSB. Scott will make, therefore, an initial assessment of the complaint, and if he feels the issues raised cannot be satisfactorily resolved through his complaints process, Scott will refer you to the BSB.
- You can also search the decision data on the LEO’s website. This shows providers, which received a decision of the LEO in the previous calendar year, and whether the LEO required the provider to give the consumer a remedy. Please see this link to the decision data on the LEO’s website. You can contact the LEO at: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. Telephone the LEO on 0300 555 0333 or email them: email@example.com.
- All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as strictly confidential, and will be disclosed only to the extent that is necessary. Disclosure will be to Scott only. You should be aware that the BSB is entitled to inspect the documents, and seek information about the complaint when discharging its auditing and monitoring functions.
1st July 2020