Dealing with client complaints at the Bar: common pitfalls and best practice

A virtual panel event helping to improve barristers' and chambers professionals’ handling of complaints from clients.

Find out more about the session and book your place below.


Book your place

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2 November 2021, 17:30 - 19:00
Event Type
Training course
Practice management

Join our Handling client complaints online seminar to gain insight into the nature of complaints against barristers received by the Legal Ombudsman. You will also find out about the practical steps that chambers can take to handle complaints and gain a better understanding of how to manage the expectations of, and communications with, vulnerable direct access clients.


Introduction from the Chair
Carolyn Entwistle, Head of Services to the Bar, Bar Council

Complaints and Public Access work

Nicola Wallace, Barrister at 4PB, Public Access trainer and member of the Bar Council’s Public Access panel

  • The different risk categories and the most common complaints scenarios
  • Best practice in complaints prevention and client expectation management
  • Handling complaints from vulnerable persons

Practical guidance for chambers
Lucy Barbet, Joint Senior Clerk, 11KBW

  • Complaints Policy: is it fit for purpose; accessibility; user-friendly; clear process; sensible deadlines
  • Administration/management of the complaint from initial receipt including referral; appointment of an investigator; liaison with client/complainant, quality control and responsibilities
  • Supporting your member(s) through the course of the complaint
  • Reviewing the process; lessons learned

Best practice and complaints prevention
Jason Chapman, Legal Ombudsman

  • An overview of the Legal Ombudsman’s operations and its complaints handling processes
  • The types of complaints received about barristers by the Legal Ombudsman
  • Best practice in customer service to prevent complaints
  • Best practice in complaints handling

Questions and discussion


Lucy Barbet

Lucy Barbet is the Joint Senior Clerk at 11KBW and the current Chair of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks, the first female to hold the role since the Institute was founded in 1922. Lucy started in the Temple 31 years ago as a receptionist at 1 Essex Court and has been at 11KBW since 1996.

Nicola Wallace

Nicola Wallace is a barrister and mediator at 4 Paper Buildings, specialising in family law. She was first a solicitor and partner, and transferred to the Bar in 2006. Nicola is co-writer of the Bar Council's Public Access for barristers, Public Access for clerks and  Public Access sharpener training courses. She is also the author of the Bar Council's Litigation training course, and a member of the Bar Council's Public Access panel.

Jason Chapman

Jason has a wealth of experience at the Legal Ombudsman, joining as an Investigator in 2010 and was appointed as an Ombudsman in 2013. He is an experienced Commercial Manager, having worked negotiating and managing high value contracts for over 10 years in a number of sectors, including consumer finance, leasing, travel and facilities management. During this time he also gained considerable experience managing regulatory and compliance functions.



Full price: £60 (plus VAT)

Bar Representation Fee member price: £48 (plus VAT)


Please ensure you read our terms and conditions and privacy statement before booking.

All Bar Council online training is held on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. Please ensure you read our Zoom statement before booking.

There are no related events currently scheduled. To find out more about alternative dates and future related events, email our training and events team.

The Annual Chambers Management package

This training session is available as part of the Bar Council's Annual Chambers Membership package. Chambers membership gives you access to a range of training and support throughout the year, chosen to suit your needs. Find out more about the package.

In-chambers training

We can offer this training in-chambers, including at chambers on the circuits. Please contact our Training and Events team for information on dates and pricing.  

Paperless training packs

To minimise environmental impact and the amount of paper you have to carry with you, Bar Council training packs are paperless. As a delegate you will receive the materials you need for the training by email in advance, which you can access on your laptop or tablet or print in advace if required. 
Throughout the training, there will be references to various Bar Council guidance or external documents which are included as a hyperlink within the attendee workbook.