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Review by the Complaints Resolution Commissioner

This information will help you request a review by the Complaints Resolution Commissioner (Commissioner).

Request for Review

The Commissioner, at your request, will do an independent review of the Law Society's investigation and decision to close your complaint file. If you want to have the Law Society's decision to close your complaint file reviewed by the Commissioner, please complete the Request for Review form. Please return the form to the Office of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner following the instructions on the Request for Review form. A request for review by the Commissioner must be made in writing within 60 days of the day you are notified that the Law Society will not be taking further action involving your complaint, and that review is available to you.
 

The Role of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner

The role of the Commissioner is to review the Law Society's investigation of your complaint and its decision to take no further action in respect of your complaint.
 

Possible Outcomes of the Review

After reviewing a complaint that has been referred to the Commissioner for review, the Commissioner will,
 
  • If satisfied that the Society's consideration of the complaint and its decision to take no further action in respect of the complaint is reasonable, so notify in writing the complainant and the Society.
  • If not satisfied that the Society's consideration of the complaint and its decision to take no further action in respect of the complaint is reasonable, refer the complaint back to the Society with a recommendation that the Society take further action in respect of the complaint, or the licensee who is the subject of the complaint, and so notify in writing the complainant.
 

The Complaints Resolution Commissioner Cannot

 
  • make a finding of professional misconduct
  • impose disciplinary penalties
  • make a finding of professional negligence
  •  award payment of money or other compensation for financial losses
  • direct a licensee (lawyer or paralegal) to refund fees or disbursements
 

Meeting with the Complaints Resolution Commissioner

Review Meetings may be in person, by conference call or based on the materials in the file. In-person and conference call Review Meetings are informal and involve a discussion of your complaint and the concerns you have with the Law Society's decision to close your file. Your meeting will be scheduled for one hour.

The Commissioner will consider your preference for the Review Meeting format.

If you wish, you may bring a friend, family member or a legal representative to the Review Meeting. 

Legal Counsel to the Commissioner is present at the Review Meeting to assist the Commissioner and respond to legal questions raised by the Commissioner. Legal Counsel's role is limited to providing assistance to the Commissioner and Counsel cannot give you legal advice.

The lawyer or paralegal who is the subject of your complaint does not participate in the review.
 

Scheduling of the Review Meeting

The Review Meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible. It may take several months for the Review Meeting to take place. we appreciate and thank you for your patience.

If you are unable to participate in the Review Meeting on the scheduled date and want it rescheduled, or have decided not to proceed with the Review Meeting, please notify the Office of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner as soon as possible. If you want the Review Meeting date to be rescheduled, the Commissioner may ask for supporting documentation explaining why you cannot participate on the scheduled date.
 

Providing New Information

If you have new information concerning your complaint or you want to make written submissions to the Commissioner, please send this material as soon as possible. Please do not send original documents.

Do not resend copies of documents which have already been provided to the Law Society. The information contained in the Law Society's file is provided to the Commissioner in advance of the Review Meeting. Resending copies of documents or repeating information already provided to the Law Society may delay the review.
 

Decision of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner

The Commissioner will send you the decision in writing after the review has been conducted. If the Commissioner agrees with the Law Society's decision to take no further action and close the complaint file, the Commissioner's decision concludes the matter. There are no further reviews and the decision is final.
 

For More Information

If you have any questions about how to request a review by the Commissioner, please contact the Office of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner and we will be pleased to help you:

393 University Avenue
Suite 515
Toronto, ON  M5G 1E6
Telephone: 416-947-3442
Toll-Free: 1-866-880-9480
Fax: 416-947-5213
Email: complaintsreview@lso.ca


Please advise us if, given your needs, you require the Office of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner communications in an alternate format that is accessible or if you require other arrangements to make our services accessible to you.
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