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Conciliation and complaint resolution

When trying to resolve a complaint, the Commissioner's conciliation service may be beneficial.


Complaints that may be suitable for conciliation include:

  • cost disputes, where a resolution has not been reached directly between the lawyer and client
  • withholding documents or files - where a lawyer will not release the file to a client for information or to transfer it to another lawyer
  • where a lawyer has placed a caveat on a client’s property or other assets
  • communication breakdowns, such as a client’s lawyer ignoring correspondence and telephone calls
  • where there is a need to rebuild or improve a client/lawyer working relationship
  • where a lawyer cannot or will not explain how a client’s matter was handled
  • where there are service issues that cannot be resolved.

If you believe that your complaint may benefit from conciliation, please contact the Commissioner’s office.


Complaints that may not be suitable for conciliation include:

  • if there is a possibility of criminal charges being laid against the lawyer
  • if there is evidence of misconduct that makes it appropriate for disciplinary action to be taken against the lawyer
  • where the safety of the client or lawyer may potentially be at risk
  • where there is a power imbalance between the parties that cannot be addressed within the conciliation process.