When we determine that information about a lawyer provided to the Law Society discloses a significant regulatory risk, the matter is directed to our disciplinary process for further investigation and handling. At this time, the matter becomes a “complaint”. Complaints can result in sanctions against the lawyer(s) if their actions are determined to warrant discipline beyond early intervention.
Complaints are reviewed to determine whether the public is at imminent risk and these are addressed on a priority basis. Examples of risk of imminent harm or concerns arising from breaches of the Code of Conduct and the Rules of the Law Society, are stealing from trust accounts, breach of undertakings to the Law Society and involvement in mortgage fraud.
Not all concerns referred to the disciplinary process result in the Law Society taking action. We address all information brought to our attention but some matters may fall outside our mandate as the conduct may or may not pose a need for early intervention or discipline. We also may refer a matter for early intervention if we conclude that there is no significant regulatory risk and the lawyer would benefit from early intervention resources.
How long does the process take?
Every complaint the Law Society receives about lawyer misconduct is unique in its degree of complexity and severity. Therefore, it is difficult to predict how long the process will take. We do our best to handle all issues promptly and fairly.
Appealing a Complaint
The Law Society would like lawyers and members of the public to understand that only certain reasons are accepted for hearing an appeal of a dismissed complaint. Disagreement with the dismissal is not grounds for an appeal.
The Step by Step Process: Complaint Dismissal Appeals and the Complaint Dismissal Appeal Form are available to help you with your decision.