Generally, it is a good idea to try and resolve your issues with the lawyer before making a complaint. The Commissioner recognises that it may not always be appropriate for you to try to do so.
The Commissioner will only investigate complaints about the quality of service a lawyer provides where the complaint is made by the client.
Anyone can make a complaint about a lawyer's conduct or behaviour.
Only the person responsible for paying a lawyer's costs can complain about the costs charged by the lawyer. If you are not the person responsible for paying the lawyer's costs, there may be other avenues for you to dispute the costs ie, by having the costs assessed ("taxed") by the courts.
If you are responsible for paying the legal costs and the amount in dispute is no more than $50,000, then the Commissioner may be able to make a determination about whether there has been overcharging and, if so, the amount overcharged. There may be costs associated with having the Commissioner make a binding determination. If the amount in dispute is more than $50,000 the Commissioner can make a recommendation that legal costs be reduced or money refunded.
For more information, see Legal costs.