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How do I complain about a lawyer?
If you feel that your lawyer or paralegal did not do their job properly or behaved unprofessionally, you can make a complaint to the Law Society of Ontario (LSO).
The LSO can investigate your complaint and, if necessary, discipline your lawyer or paralegal.
The LSO cannot help with every type of complaint. According to the LSO website, they will review complaints about lawyers' and paralegals' conduct, including:
- ethics, honesty or breach of confidentiality
- communications (including failure to reply to communications or to provide detailed statements or transaction records)
- concerns that your lawyer or paralegal is not following your instructions
- unreasonable delays in moving your legal matters forward
- misleading, threatening or rude behaviour
- physical, sexual or other assault, harassment and discriminatory behaviour
- misuse of trust funds, failure to account for funds or the improper handling or loss of money
- concerns of potentially criminal conduct
- unlicensed illegal practitioners providing legal services
If the LSO cannot help with your complaint, they will try to give you information about other sources of help.
Make a Complaint
To start the complaint process, you can complete the online form. Once your complaint has been reviewed, you may be invited to submit documents and more information.
Generally, it is best if the person with the complaint makes it themselves. However, you can make a complaint for someone else. You may need to complete an authorization form to proceed.
If you are making a complaint about physical, sexual or other assault, harassment and discriminatory behaviour, you may be able to access support through the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel.
What happens next?
According to the LSO website, after you submit your complaint, they will:
- Send you a message to the email address you provided, usually within 48 hours, confirming they received your complaint
- Review your complaint
- May ask you to submit more information or documents
- Keep you informed through your LSO Connects account
It is important to know that unless you need an accommodation under the Human Rights Code, you must use the online complaint form to submit your complaint.
If you have accessibility issues with the online complaint form, you can review the LSO Connects tips page. If you need assistance or an accommodation, you can connect with the LSO by:
For More Information
- Complaints about legal fees - This page is from the Law Society Ontario to explain what steps members of the public can take if they feel their lawyer's bill is too high.
- Law Society of Ontario (LSO) - The governing body for Ontario lawyers. The LSO regulates the practice of law in Ontario and protects members of the public when they hire a lawyer.
- Complaint about immigration representative - If you have a complaint about your immigration and citizenship representative, there are ways to get help. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
February 5, 2024