15 September 2019

Should you make a complaint?

We try to make the process of making a complaint as easy as possible. And we do our best to ensure they are dealt with fairly, consistently, and quickly, for the benefit of all concerned.

Before you make a complaint, it is important to understand that:

  • we can't change the outcome of your case, or stop a barrister, or other person we regulate, from acting for the other side.
  • we can't prevent a barrister, or other person we regulate, from using evidence or an argument you disagree with.
  • we can't make the barrister, or other person we regulate, apologise to you or pay you compensation.
  • we take all complaints seriously, but can only investigate complaints where we have enough information and enough evidence. Having said that, even if we don't formally investigate your complaint, we may still take some action. For more information about what would count as evidence see Tips for completing the Complaint Form.
  • we can usually only consider complaints about something which happened within the last 12 months unless we feel it is necessary - we treat it on a case by case basis.

If you have any questions about your complaint or how you should make it, please call the Professional Conduct Department Information Line.


"I complained about a barrister who was rude to me outside court. He tutted and rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath that I couldn't hear. My complaint didn't get very far because I didn't have any real evidence and it wasn't very serious, but they did send him a letter telling him they had received a complaint and reminding him to be polite in future."



The information in these pages applies to barristers, and other people we regulate, in England and Wales.

The law that regulates barristers and lawyers is complicated. We have simplified things to give you an idea of how it applies to your situation. Please don't rely on these pages as a complete statement of the law.

The quotes and cases we refer to are not always real but show a typical situation. We hope they help you to understand the system better and think about what might happen to the complaint.