How do I make a complaint?
If you decide to make a complaint to the Board you must put your complaint in writing. You can use the complaint form we have designed to help you give us the information we need. We can send you the form or you can go online and complete the form from our website at www.lpbt.com.au
If you have difficulty in completing the complaint form, staff at the Board may be able to assist you. We can also arrange for interpreters if required.
Is there a fee?
There is no fee to lodge a complaint about a lawyer.
When you complete the complaint form, please try to be as concise as possible. You must describe the conduct of the lawyer you are complaining about and it is important to provide the Board with copies of any relevant documents.
You may assist a friend or relative to make a complaint by completing the complaint form on their behalf, but you will need to include their written and signed authority.
What happens once I make my complaint?
Once you have lodged a complaint with the Board, the information you have provided will normally be sent to the lawyer concerned and they will respond to your complaint. If the Board thinks that the conduct of the lawyer may amount to either unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct, it will appoint an investigator.
Who investigates my complaint?
The Investigations Officer, who is a legally trained employee of the Board, will normally investigate your complaint.
How long does it take?
A complaint can take time to be properly processed, investigated and concluded. The length of time will depend on the seriousness and complexity of the complaint. The lawyer must be given the opportunity to respond to your allegations and the entire process must be fair for all parties.
It might involve a formal hearing at which the parties will be heard. All complaints received by the Board are dealt with thoroughly, fairly and as quickly as possible.
What happens next?
The action taken by the Board will depend upon whether the alleged conduct complained of may amount to ‘unsatisfactory professional conduct’, or the more serious ‘professional misconduct’. If the Board considers that the alleged conduct may amount to ‘professional misconduct’, it must refer the matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal or the Supreme Court. Otherwise it will deal with the matter in a manner provided for by the Legal Profession Act, 2007.
Where do I go to get more information?
If you have any questions about making a complaint about the conduct of a lawyer, please contact the Board on (03) 6226 3000 or email email@example.com