Types of complaints

There are two types of complaints; misconduct and overcharging.

Misconduct

If a client believes their lawyer’s behaviour falls short of the expected standard of competence and diligence of a reasonable lawyer, then a complaint can be made to the Commissioner.

Overcharging

If a client believes their lawyer has overcharged them, then a complaint can be made to the Commissioner.

If the Commissioner receives an overcharging complaint within two years of the relevant bill (invoice), then he must investigate it. Outside of this period he may investigate it, but is not obliged to do so.

Regardless of the amount in dispute, the Commissioner may recommend a reduction or refund of legal fees.  A recommendation made by the Commissioner is not binding.

If the recommendation is not accepted, and if the amount in dispute is no more than $10,000, the Commissioner may make a binding determination as to whether or not there has been overcharging and if so, the amount of the overcharge.