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How to Make a Complaint

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Steps to Make a Complaint about a Lawyer or Paralegal

  1. Decide if making a complaint is your best course of action.
  2. Complete a Complaint Form.
  3. Provide documents related to your complaint (if any).
  4. Send us the Complaint Form with supporting documents.
  5. Provide additional information if we ask for it.

Step 1: Decide if making a complaint is your best course of action

Try to resolve the problem before you make a complaint to the Law Society. 

Speak with the lawyer or paralegal about your concerns. Most lawyers and paralegals want to solve problems before they become complaints. 

Ask if you can speak with a senior member of the firm about the situation (if the lawyer or paralegal practises law or provides legal services with other licensees).

Before completing a Complaint Form, read about the complaints process. This will help you to understand: 

  • the types of issues the Law Society can review (for example, we do not review concerns about legal fees
  • the potential time limit for making a complaint 
  • what happens when we receive your complaint. 


You may also find answers to your questions in the FAQs about the Complaints Process.

Step 2: Complete a Complaint Form 

Complete the form on your computer or print it and complete by hand.

Complaint Form (PDF, 891 KB)

If you have difficulty filling out PDF forms, the Complaint Form is also available as a text document. Save the document to your computer and open it in Microsoft Word or another application such as WordPad or OpenOffice Writer.

Complaint Form (Rich Text Format, 680 KB)

To request a paper copy of the form, please contact us

Step 3: Provide documents related to your complaint.

Gather copies of all documents that support your complaint. Examples could be:

  • a copy of your retainer letter 
  • accounting documents 
  • letters from the lawyer or paralegal 
  • copies of important court documents or documents relating to the transaction that you are complaining about 
  • a signed authorization form (PDF) if you are making the complaint on behalf of someone else.  

Step 4:  Send us the Complaint Form with supporting documents.

Before sending your Complaint Form, make sure that it includes:

  • 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 
  • any other information you believe is relevant to your complaint.


Send by email to:

Complaints & Compliance 

Email: comail@lso.ca

Please attach supporting documents and additional details to your email message. Note that we cannot access file-sharing services such as Google Docs, Dropbox or OneDrive.

Send by mail to:

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

Include copies of supporting documents in the envelope. Please DO NOT send the originals as they may not be returned to you.

The Law Society will send you a letter to confirm that we have received your complaint and next steps.

Step 5: Provide additional information if we ask for it.

The Law Society may ask you for additional information about your complaint. Please provide this information right away.

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

In fairness to the person you are complaining about, the Law Society will share with that person some or all of the information and documents you send us.

Complaints and investigations are otherwise confidential unless the Law Society has begun regulatory proceedings. Section 49.12 of the Law Society Act restricts our ability to share information obtained through the investigation with you and with the person you are complaining about.  Confidentiality continues to be required even after the complaint has been addressed (without regulatory proceedings). 

Questions

 If you have any questions about how to file your complaint, please call the Client Service Centre at 416-947-3310 or 1-800-268-7568.

NOTE: We cannot advise if you should file a complaint, nor can we provide any pre-assessment of your situation.

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