FAQs about complaints

The majority of complaints to the Legal Services Commission stem from common misunderstandings regarding business practice and client communication.

A client may take their complaint to the Legal services Commission if they feel they have run out of options to resolve their issues with their lawyer or law firm.

The client may be at the stage where they no longer want to retain a relationship with the lawyer or law firm.

The Legal Services Commission will notify you in writing when a conduct complaint or an investigation matter involving you is accepted by the Legal Services Commission.

You will not usually be informed if the Commission dismisses a complaint without investigation.

The written notice is issued by the Commission, or the Queensland Law Society (QLS) or the Bar Association of Queensland (BAQ). This will depend on whether the Commission or a regulatory body is handling the complaint.

You will generally not be informed in writing in the case of a consumer disputes; however we will call you to discuss the matter and to give you an opportunity to negotiate how best to proceed.

The Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act) provides that a provision in any agreement aimed at preventing a person from making a complaint or disclosing information to the Legal Services Commission about legal practitioner's conduct, is unenforceable.

Legal practitioners should not charge for the time it takes them to respond to the complaint.

The Commissioner takes the view that legal practitioners are obliged to respond to any complaint against them, and that complainants should not be out of pocket for exercising their entitlement to complain.

See also Regulatory Guide 8 Billing Practices - Some Key Principles noting in particular the Principles derived from the common law.

One of the best things to do is to learn from experience and the experiences of others. Consider whether there was anything that could or should have been done differently. This may help to identify issues and avoid complaints, or to prevent the issue from arising and escalating to a formal complaint.

For more information see 'Avoiding complaints'.