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How to Make a Complaint

Before you make a complaint to the Law Society, you should try to resolve the problem first. Speak with the lawyer or paralegal about your concerns — most lawyers and paralegals want to solve problems before they become complaints.

If the lawyer or paralegal practises law or provides legal services with other licensees, you may ask to speak with a senior member of that firm about the situation.

If your complaint is not resolved after speaking to the lawyer or paralegal, make your complaint to the Law Society as soon as possible. With a few very limited exceptions, we will not investigate complaints that are received more than three years from either the date of the issue you are complaining about (or the date you learned about it).

Steps to Make a Complaint about a Lawyer or Paralegal

  1. Complete a Complaint Form
  2. Provide all relevant information
  3. Sign the Complaint Form and send it to the Law Society
  4. Provide additional information if we ask for it


Instructions for each step are provided below.

1. Complete a Complaint Form

The Complaint Form will give us all the information we need to assess your complaint.
You may either download and print the Complaint Form then complete it by hand, or fill it in online and then print it. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the file

If you'd prefer, you can request a paper copy of the Complaint Form. To do so, contact the Law Society.

2. Provide all relevant information

When completing the Complaint Form, make sure you provide all relevant information including:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and other contact information.
  • The name and address of the lawyer or paralegal you are complaining about.
  • Full, accurate information relating to the complaint, including what you feel the lawyer or paralegal did wrong.
  • Copies of all documents that you believe support your complaint. (Please DO NOT send the originals.) Examples could be a retainer letter, accounts, letters from the lawyer or paralegal, important court documents or documents relating to the transaction that you are complaining about. Note that we may not be able to access documents that are stored in a Cloud and accessed online.
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses or other sources of information relating to your complaint.

3. Sign the Complaint Form and send it to the Law Society

Sign the completed Complaint Form, attach copies of any relevant documents, and fax or mail the information to the Law Society at this address:

Complaints & Compliance
Law Society of Ontario
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6
General line: 416-947-3315
Toll-free: 1-800-668-7380
Fax: 416-947-5263

The Law Society will send you a letter to confirm that we have received your complaint. We will then carefully review and assess your complaint.

4. Provide additional information if we ask for it

You may be asked for additional information about your complaint. Please provide this information promptly.

Once a complaint file has been closed, the Law Society will not consider additional documents, information or allegations about the lawyer or paralegal if the issues should have been raised in your original complaint. 

Our commitment to a respectful environment

The Law Society is committed to communicating with you in a respectful, professional and civil manner. Similarly, we expect the same courtesy from others.

We understand that the complaint process and the circumstances that give rise to complaints can be stressful. However, we will not accept racist, discriminatory or harassing behaviour or profane communications.

The Law Society is required by law to protect staff from harassing, discriminatory and threatening behaviour. Please note that repeated behaviour of this kind will result in the Law Society restricting communications or no longer communicating with you beyond advising you of the outcome of your complaint.

Confidentiality

Complaints and investigations are confidential unless the Law Society has begun discipline proceedings. Section 49.12 of the Law Society Act restricts our ability to share information obtained as a result of the investigation with you and with the lawyer or paralegal you are complaining about.  Confidentiality continues to be required even after the complaint has been addressed (without discipline proceedings). 

Please note that, in fairness to the lawyer or paralegal you are complaining about, the Law Society will share with that lawyer or paralegal some or all of the information and documents you send us.    

If you have any questions about the complaints process, please visit the FAQs About the Complaints Process page for more information.