Upon receiving a complaint about potential overcharging, the Commissioner’s office will:
- acknowledge in writing the receipt of the complaint
- assess the complaint, consider the facts, and determine its merit
- where appropriate, seek to conciliate the dispute between the client and the lawyer
- if conciliation isn't appropriate or if there is no conciliated outcome, then further investigate the alleged overcharging
- make a recommendation as to whether or not there has been overcharging
- if that recommendation is not accepted, and if the amount in dispute is $50,000 or less (for a complaint made on or after 1 December 2019) or $10,000 or less (for a complaint made before that date), then consider going through the required process to make a binding determination.
The complaint process for overcharging
Download as a PDF here.
At any stage of the process a complaint can be closed for various reasons, including if the Commissioner determines that:
- it is outside of the Commissioner’s jurisdiction
- the Commissioner determines that it is frivolous or lacking substance
- the complainant does not respond adequately to a request for further information
- the complainant does not cooperate in the investigation or conciliation of the complaint
- the legal fees have previously been the subject of other court action.