FAQs about the Complaints Process

Before you file a complaint, talk to the lawyer or the lawyer's firm to see if you can resolve your issue. Sometimes, the issue is simply a misunderstanding. If you still want to file a complaint, it must be in writing. You can use the Law Society's online complaint form or submit a paper complaint form. You will find instructions about how to submit the complaint on both the online and paper forms in the How to File a Complaint section of this website.

There is no set time for an investigation of a complaint. Generally speaking, the more serious or complex the issue is, the longer the review will take. However, the Law Society does its best to handle all complaints promptly and fairly. About 85% of complaints are resolved within one year.

The LSBC Tribunal is an independent decision-making body that hears and adjudicates disciplinary cases involving legal professionals. For more information on the discipline process, including hearing decisions and a hearing schedule, go to the LSBC Tribunal website.

Discipline hearings are managed by the LSBC Tribunal and are open to the public unless the hearing panel orders otherwise. Refer to the Hearing Schedule and the Guide to attending a hearing on the LSBC Tribunal website.

You can search our online Decisions database or the lawyer directory to find out whether a lawyer has ever been the subject of a discipline hearing decision or has admitted to a discipline violation.

Lawyers who want to transfer to British Columbia from another province must demonstrate not only that they have the appropriate training and skills but also that they possess the good character required of a lawyer. Any past record of misconduct will be considered, and if the Law Society has concerns about the character or fitness of an applicant, it can order a credentials hearing.

If you think your lawyer has stolen from you, you may file a complaint and you may also be entitled to compensation. The Law Society's Professional Conduct group investigates complaints about lawyer conduct, and claims for compensation are handled by the Lawyers Indemnity Fund. See Claims for theft for details.

The Law Society does not set lawyers' fees and does not have the authority to resolve disputes about fees. If you have discussed your concerns about fees with your lawyer and are still dissatisfied, you may be able to settle a disagreement about fees using the Law Society’s Fee Mediation Program. For details, see Complaints About Lawyers' Fees.

The Law Society publishes annual statistics about complaints and outcomes in its annual report.

Complaints are not confidential. Information you provide to the Law Society may be forwarded to the lawyer for his or her consideration. The lawyer may not be required to keep that information confidential.

If your complaint results in the lawyer being cited for a discipline violation, the citation setting out the allegations against the lawyer is published on the Law Society website. A citation leads to a public hearing, in which case, only information protected by solicitor/client privilege can be kept private unless an order is made by the hearing panel for other information not to be disclosed to protect the interests of any person.