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The Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner’s office offers a confidential conciliation service.

This service is voluntary, impartial and flexible for both complainants and lawyers and involves an accredited and experienced conciliator working with both parties to help resolve a complaint.

The service is offered following receipt of a written complaint about a lawyer’s conduct or the fees charged and includes:

  • managing the process and deciding how conciliation will proceed and who will attend;
  • speaking to both parties about the complaint, narrowing the issues in dispute, assisting the parties to work towards a resolution of their issues, and assisting the parties to record any agreement reached; and
  • determining if any parts of a complaint require investigation into a lawyer’s conduct.

Conciliation may be either:

Informal - where disputes are addressed between a client and lawyer over the phone, by email or in writing.; or

Formal - where a client and lawyer meet to discuss, and try to resolve the issue with the help of a conciliator in attendance.

The Commissioner’s conciliation service is confidential.

  • Nothing said in the course of conciliation can be given as evidence in any proceedings (unless it is evidence of a criminal offence).
  • Our conciliators operate independently from our investigators. Anything communicated during conciliation will not be disclosed to an investigator.
  • If an agreed outcome is reached between the lawyer and complainant it will be recorded in writing, signed by both parties and authorised by the Commissioner’s office.

Legal representation is not required during conciliation. If you would like to bring a lawyer, advocate or support person, please raise this with the conciliator.

What outcomes might you expect from conciliation?

Conciliation offers a broad range of outcomes appropriate to the nature of the dispute and limited only by the willingness of the parties.  Common outcomes include:

  • an explanation;
  • an apology;
  • the return of documents;
  • a reduction in legal fees; and
  • a refund of money already paid.