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If a complaint is made

If a complaint is made about you

We endeavour to be as fair and transparent as possible with our complaints process. We’ll keep you informed throughout the process.

The process 

Step 1:

Assessing a complaint

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Step 2:


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Step 3:

Dismissal or discipline application

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Step 4:

Disciplinary proceedings

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Cooperating with the Commission

Respondents must cooperate with the Commission during an investigation, including by producing documents and answering questions. 

Compliance is required by the Legal Profession Act 2007 (LPA) and, for legal practitioners, under the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules or Barristers’ Conduct Rules.

We expect you to be frank, honest, timely, professional and courteous in your verbal and written correspondence with the Commission.

Unprofessional, rude or aggressive correspondence, failing to respond to correspondence, or other non-responsive and obstructive behaviour may amount to unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

The Commission’s consultative approach

The Commission endeavours to adopt a non-adversarial and consultative approach to investigations. 

However, if you do not cooperate, we have coercive powers such as:

  • requiring a respondent to provide an explanation or produce documentation
  • a power of entry into a law practice
  • requiring attendance for an interview. 

These powers are used as a last resort after attempts to secure a response or acquire documents have failed due to a lack of cooperation from respondents. 

In some circumstances, the LPA provides exceptions to compliance with these powers, such as the privilege against self-incrimination and legal professional privilege. 

Requesting additional response time

When we request responses, information or documents from you, we will always advise a due date for your response.

The standard timeframe is 2 to 3 weeks.

You may request additional time from the Commission. We recommend you do so as soon as possible.

We seek to accommodate reasonable requests, but the Commissioner also has a duty to investigate complaints as efficiently and expeditiously as is practicable.

Some timeframes are set by the LPA and can’t be extended by the Commissioner.

If you have questions about any timeframes, contact the Commission.