3PB Direct

We are very proud of the service we provide; and welcome feedback on any aspect of our service – negative and positive alike. We are delighted to hear when you are pleased so we can pass it onto the barrister or member of staff; and will do our very best to deal with any concern you have to your satisfaction. Our advice is to raise any issues directly and promptly with the barrister that you instructed or their advisor/clerk whom you’ve been in contact with.

At the time of booking a case with us or accepting instructions, you will be notified of what you should do if we fail to meet your expectations. We will always ask if your feedback could be dealt with as a concern in the first instance so that we can try to resolve it to your satisfaction. If we cannot resolve your concern in a way that you are completely satisfied with, we will agree with you that your concern will be escalated to a complaint. Alternatively, you may raise a complaint in the first instance. We do hope you will discuss it with us first and give us the opportunity to resolve it.

If you are not satisfied with the service of your 3PB Direct barrister or adviser/clerk or any other staff member, you should then refer the matter to chambers in line with 3PB’s complaints policy.

Where the instructions were on a direct or public access basis using an intermediary, we must inform the intermediary as well. This is a requirement of the Bar Standards Board, whose guidance about making a complaint about a barrister can be found here.

Response times

  • James Thornton, 3PB Direct’s Director of Operations, will acknowledge your complaint promptly, usually within 3 working days.
  • Your complaint will be assigned to a different barrister – who will be your investigating officer – and the work will be completed within 6 weeks.
  • You will be advised by the investigating officer of the date you can expect to hear from us. We will always aim to deal with matters promptly.
  • Should our response not meet with your approval, you may take the matter further with the Legal Ombudsman service. We will assist the Legal Ombudsman with any enquiries they may make.

Documents and record keeping

We retain documents and records relating to every aspect of the service we have provided. Our internal systems and case management software provides a real time audit trail of actions and communications. We will fulfil our GDPR obligations as data processors (3PB Management Services Limited) and as data controllers (the individual barrister/s dealing with your case).

The disclosure of internal documents relating to the handling of the complaint, such as the minutes of a meeting held to discuss a particular complaint, to the Bar Standards Board for the further resolution or investigation of the complaint is not a requirement.

A record will be kept of each complaint, all steps taken in response to it and the outcome of the complaint, together with a copy of all correspondence, including electronic mail, and all other documents generated in response to the complaint. Records will be retained for a minimum of seven years as a minimum.

The Director of Operations – and the senior barrister who chairs our Complaints Committee – report annually to 3PB Direct’s Chief Executive setting out the number of complaints received, the subject areas of the complaints and the outcomes. The complaints are reviewed in order to spot any recurring concerns or negative trends so that we may rectify them and consider possible training issues.

Timescales

Once you have completed our internal complaints process, and if you are unhappy with the outcome of our internal complaints handling system, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman. You must contact the Legal Ombudsman either within 6 months following the conclusion of our handling your complaint, within 6 years from the date of the act/omission, or 3 years from the date that you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago).

The Legal Ombudsman’s details are as follows:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

Tel: 0300 555 0333
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk