Making a Complaint

The NSW Legal Services Commissioner is responsible for receiving and dealing with complaints about the conduct of lawyers in New South Wales.

Step 1:  Check that your complaint is one that we can handle

Read Complaints We May Not Deal With and Before you make a Complaint pages to make sure that we are able to help you and you know what information we require to  deal with your complaint.

Costs Complaints

Complaints about your lawyer’s costs must be made within 60 days after the costs become payable. This time limit may shorten to 30 days if you have requested and received an itemised bill from your lawyer.  The NSW Legal Services Commissioner has a discretion to waive the time limit in limited circumstances.

Conduct Complaints

Complaints about a lawyer’s conduct (including provision of legal services) must be made within 3 years of the alleged conduct.   The NSW Legal Services Commissioner has a discretion to waive the time limit in limited circumstances.

We recommend you call our Inquiry Line on 1800 242 958 or (02) 9377 1800 if you have any questions or if you are unsure whether the OLSC can handle your complaint.

Step 2:  Making a written complaint

All complaints to the OLSC must be made or recorded in writing and must identify the lawyer or law practice about whom the complaint is made.

We recommend that you make a complaint via our online complaint portal.

You can also download, complete, and return our complaint form or write a letter or email. You can send an email to OLSC or you can post your letter to our address.

We understand some people may require assistance to make a written complaint. For assistance phone our Inquiry Line 1800 242 958 or 02 9377 1800.

The OLSC deals with many complaints. Clear information will help us handle your complaint efficiently. Failure to provide clear and relevant information may delay the processing and handling of your complaint.  You should outline as much of the following as possible:

  • If you are making a complaint on behalf of another person such as a relative or friend -  tell us their name, your relationship to them and provide their authority in writing
  • Clearly and succinctly describe the lawyer’s alleged conduct
  • Only provide information and documents directly relevant to the lawyer’s alleged conduct.  Pinpoint the relevant part(s) of any documents provided.
  • Provide supporting documentation in this format where possible: In one file; in chronological order; in PDF format; unlocked; and no larger than 10 MB in file size
  • Describe what each supporting document is, and how it specifically establishes the lawyer’s alleged conduct.

Note:  There is no charge to make a complaint to the OLSC.

Step 3: Your complaint will be assessed

You will receive written confirmation within 2 - 3 business days once your complaint has been received by the OLSC. Your complaint will be allocated a case reference number.

Your complaint will be allocated to a case officer for assessment. We aim to assess your complaint within 6-8 weeks.

Read our Complaint Process and Outcome page for more information about how your complaint will be handled

Last updated:

04 Dec 2023

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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