Principle 4 - An objective process
We’ve already emphasised how important it is to be transparent about your firm’s policies and how you will look into a complainer’s concerns. We recognise that demonstrating objectivity in the process can be even more challenging for small and sole-practitioner practices. You might want to speak to your local Bar Association representative, the LDU, or consider a buddying arrangement for dealing with complaints.
An objective process could be demonstrated in the following ways:
- A consistent way of recording what needs to be investigated, and how this will be done, including who a complainer should contact
- Accurate notes of all conversations and the actions taken
- Clearly setting out what facts you have found and what you’ve taken into account, rather than relying on “usual practice” in the firm
- Neutral, respectful and polite language throughout the process
- Recognising whether wording, even if technically correct, could be confusing or offensive to anyone else
- Clear acknowledgment of any shortcomings, including those of communication
- If appropriate, clear explanations why the complainer’s viewpoint is not supported by the facts you have found.