This form is for making a complaint about a lawyer to the Legal Services Commissioner (LSC). Please
read the following information before you complete this form.
Have you tried to resolve the matter with your lawyer? We recommend you do this before making a complaint.
Please provide clear and detailed information about your matter. The information you provide on this form will help us to understand your complaint.
Please attach copies of any documents which relate to your matter.
Fill out separate complaint forms if you would like to complain about more than one lawyer.
We will usually send a copy of your complaint to the lawyer to ask them to respond to the issues in your complaint. Please tell us if you have concerns with this.
We are unable to provide legal advice or legal assistance in relation to your matter.
Contact us if you would like to discuss your matter with an enquiries officer before making a formal complaint. n
We have a range of brochures that explain how complaints are dealt with which are available on our website at You can also contact us for a hard copy.
You must sign page 6 of this form in order for us to deal with your complaint.
Please contact us if you have any questions or if you need assistance filling out this form. An interpreter can
be arranged if you do not speak English and you require assistance.
Your details
Title (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc)
First name
Last name
Telephone - Landline
Email address
Are you making this complaint on behalf of another person?
4Please provide their details in the space below.
No Details of the person you are making the complaint for:
Title (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc)
First name
Last name
Telephone - LandlineMobile
Email address
Are you authorised to make this complaint on behalf of this person?
4Please attach written authority.
4You must have authorisation to make a complaint on behalf of another person.
Please seek written authorisation before lodging this complaint.
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The lawyer’s details
Name of the lawyer
Lawyer type: Solicitor
Name of law firm or chambers
Who was the lawyer acting for?
The person you are making the complaint on behalf of
The other party
Details of your complaint
1. What do you hope to achieve by making this complaint?
2. Please tell us about the matter. Please include the following details:
What happened? Who was involved?
Details of significant events, such as dates of meetings and court hearings.
What are your particular concerns?
Please attach another page if you need more space.
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3. Have you tried to resolve the matter with the lawyer?
If yes, how?
4. What area of legal service does this complaint arise from?
Administrative Law
Environmental Law
Motor Vehicle Injuries
Banking Law
Equal Opportunity
Motor Vehicle Accident
Building Law Family/DefactoPersonal Injury
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Information Planning Law
Commercial Law
Immigration Law Probate & Estate
Industrial Relations
Taxation Law
Insolvency Law
Trade Practices
Intellectual Property
Crimes Compensation
Criminal Law
Debt Collection
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Complaint about legal costs
Complete this section if you are disputing the legal costs you have been charged by your lawyer. Complaints about legal costs are known as costs disputes.
Our role in dealing with a costs dispute is to try and help you and your lawyer or the law practice resolve the dispute. We do not
have the power to order the lawyer or law practice to pay you any money. Generally, we can only deal with a costs dispute if:
The total amount of legal costs in the matter are $25,000 or less.
The complaint is made within 60 days of the date of the bill or within 30 days of the date of an itemised bill. In some circumstances, we can deal with a costs dispute outside these time frames if you have lodged your complaint within four months after the 60 or 30 day time limit and you have provided a sufficient reason for the delay in making your complaint.
The lawyer has not yet issued legal proceedings to sue you for the unpaid costs.
PLEASE NOTE: You must lodge any unpaid costs with the LSC
The law for resolving costs disputes requires that any unpaid disputed costs must be lodged with us within 28 days from the
date on which we receive your complaint. This money will be held in an interest bearing trust account until the complaint is finalised. This time limit cannot be extended; you should therefore include a cheque or money order for the unpaid costs made
out to the “Legal Services Commissioner”.
The money can only be paid out once the dispute is finalised by either us or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
(VCAT). Depending on the outcome, the full amount or part of the amount may be paid to either you or the lawyer. If you decide
to withdraw your complaint, then the original bill from the lawyer stands and the full amount which you lodged with us will be
paid out to the lawyer. If we are unable to assist you and your lawyer resolve the dispute, then you will be informed of your rights
to apply to VCAT to resolve the dispute. The money will be paid out to your lawyer if you do not not apply to VCAT.
If you are unable to lodge the unpaid costs with the LSC
We can excuse you from depositing all or part of any unpaid costs if your income and assets are low, or if it would cause you
undue hardship to deposit the money with us. The circumstances where this will be the case are quite limited. You are unlikely
to be excused simply because you disagree with the amount of the bill or because you did not get the outcome you were hoping for. Contact our office for the waiver application form or download a copy from our website at
5. Have you received a bill from your lawyer?
4Please attach copies of the bills that you
wish to dispute.
4Please ask your lawyer for copies of the bills that you wish to dispute.
6. Please provide details of the bills that you have received from your lawyer. Please attach copies.
Date of bill
How much have you paid?
Are you disputing this bill?
7. Has the lawyer sued you for unpaid legal costs?
If yes, when did the lawyer commence legal proceedings? Please note, generally the LSC cannot handle a complaint if
the lawyer has commenced legal proceedings to recover the unpaid costs.
8. Did you receive a written costs agreement from the lawyer?
4Please attach a copy.
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Complaint about financial loss
Complete this section if you believe you have suffered a financial loss because of something your lawyer did or
failed to do in the provision of legal services to you. These complaints are otherwise known as pecuniary loss
Our role in dealing with a finanical loss dispute is to try and help you and your lawyer or the law practice resolve the dispute.
We do not have power to order your lawyer or the law practice to pay you any money. A financial loss dispute usually involves
you having spent money or incurred a debt as a direct consequence of your lawyer’s actions or failure to do something. It does
not include a claim for damages (compensation) for such things as stress or the difference between what you should have been
awarded in court and what you received. You must be able to show a connection between the financial loss and the conduct of the
lawyer or the law practice.
9. What did the lawyer do or fail to do which caused your financial loss? Please attach any documents which support your complaint.
10. When did the conduct alleged to have caused the loss occur? Please note, the time limit for making
a financial loss dispute is six years after the conduct alleged to have caused the loss occurred. This time limit cannot
be extended.
11. How much money do you believe you have lost?
12. How have you calculated the financial loss?
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Sign and date
I ask the Legal Services Commissioner to consider and deal with my complaint. I am aware that the Legal Services Commissioner will usually send a copy of this complaint to the lawyer concerned. I have completed all relevant sections of this
form and have attached copies of the following documents:
Letter(s) to the lawyerBillsOther
Letter(s) from the lawyer
Costs agreement/
Please note that failure to provide all relevant information may delay processing or may mean that we are unable to handle your
Name (please print)
How did you hear about the Legal Services Commissioner?
Family member
Work colleague
Next steps
We will consider whether we have power to deal with your complaint and how it will be handled. We will contact you to let you
know how we intend to deal with your complaint. We aim to deal with complaints efficiently and will keep you informed about
the progress of your complaint. We may ask you to provide more information in relation to your matter. Please provide any additional information as quickly as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the complaint handling process.
Send your complaint form with all attachments to:
GPO Box 492
Melbourne VIC 3001
Level 9, 330 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
DX 185 Melbourne
Telephone: 03 9679 8001 or 1300 796 344 (toll free)
Fax: 03 9679 8101
Email: [email protected]
Privacy Collection Statement
The Legal Services Commissioner is bound by laws that protect your privacy concerning the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information. Where
you do not provide the information required by this form, the Legal Services Commissioner may refuse or be unable to process this transaction. The Legal Services
Commissioner may need to disclose your personal information to other state and Commonwealth agencies. You can request access to your personal information by
contacting us.
Printed February 2011
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