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How to Make a Complaint

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Before you make a complaint to the Law Society, you should try to resolve the problem first. Speak with the lawyer or paralegal about your concerns - most lawyers and paralegals want to solve problems before they become complaints.

If the lawyer or paralegal practises law or provides legal services with other licensees, you may ask to speak with a senior member of that firm about the situation.

If your complaint is not resolved after speaking to the lawyer or paralegal, make your complaint to the Law Society as soon as possible. With a few very limited exceptions, we will not investigate complaints that are received more than three years from either the date of the issue you are complaining about (or the date you learned about it).

Steps to Make a Complaint about a Lawyer or Paralegal

  1. Complete a Complaint Form
  2. Provide all relevant information
  3. Return the Complaint Form to the Law Society
  4. Provide additional information if we ask for it

Instructions for each step are provided below.

1. Complete a Complaint Form

The Complaint Form will give us all the information we need to assess your complaint.

We have recently updated our Complaint Form into a fillable PDF format that guides you to the questions that are relevant to you, and that includes an option to submit the form by email. However, we have continued to include a basic fillable version. You may download the Complaint Form and complete it on your computer or print the Complaint Form, complete it by hand, and send it to the Law Society. Only one version of the form needs to be completed.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9 or later in order to complete the guided fillable PDF version of the form. Please save the form to your computer, start Acrobat Reader, and open the form. Alternatively, copy and paste the following link into the Open File dialog in Acrobat Reader: 

NOTE: The guided fillable PDF version of the form will not work in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge web browsers

Basic Complaint Form (PDF, X.XMB, 891 KB)
Guided Complaint Form (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Complaint Form (TXT, 11 KB)

If you'd prefer, you can request a paper copy of the Complaint Form. To do so, contact the Law Society.

Download Acrobat Reader for free from the Adobe website

People who use screen readers will need to use the NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) screen reader with the PDF.

Download NVDA for free from the NV Access website

2. Provide all relevant information

When completing the Complaint Form, make sure you provide all relevant information including:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and other contact information.
  • The name and address of the lawyer or paralegal you are complaining about.
  • Full, accurate information relating to the complaint, including what you feel the lawyer or paralegal did wrong.
  • Copies of all documents that you believe support your complaint. (Please DO NOT send the originals.) Examples could be a retainer letter, accounts, letters from the lawyer or paralegal, important court documents or documents relating to the transaction that you are complaining about. Note that we may not be able to access documents that are stored in a Cloud and accessed online.
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses or other sources of information relating to your complaint.

3. Return the Complaint Form to the Law Society

The Complaint Form can be sent to the Law Society via email by including the completed Complaint Form with copies of any relevant documents, or by fax or mail by sending the completed and printed form and relevant documents directly to the Law Society. Our contact information is as follows:

Complaints & Compliance
Law Society of Ontario
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6
General line: 416-947-3315
Toll-free: 1-800-668-7380
Fax: 416-947-5263

The Law Society will send you a letter to confirm that we have received your complaint. We will then carefully review and assess your complaint.

4. Provide additional information if we ask for it

You may be asked for additional information about your complaint. Please provide this information promptly.

Once a complaint file has been closed, the Law Society will not consider additional documents, information or allegations about the lawyer or paralegal if the issues should have been raised in your original complaint. 

Our commitment to a respectful environment

The Law Society is committed to communicating with you in a respectful, professional and civil manner. Similarly, we expect the same courtesy from others.

We understand that the complaint process and the circumstances that give rise to complaints can be stressful. However, we will not accept racist, discriminatory or harassing behaviour or profane communications.

The Law Society is required by law to protect staff from harassing, discriminatory and threatening behaviour. Please note that repeated behaviour of this kind will result in the Law Society restricting communications or no longer communicating with you beyond advising you of the outcome of your complaint.


Please note that, in fairness to the lawyer or paralegal you are complaining about, the Law Society will share with that lawyer or paralegal some or all of the information and documents you send us.

Complaints and investigations are otherwise confidential unless the Law Society has begun regulatory proceedings. Section 49.12 of the Law Society Act restricts our ability to share information obtained as a result of the investigation with you and with the lawyer or paralegal you are complaining about.  Confidentiality continues to be required even after the complaint has been addressed (without regulatory proceedings). 
If you have any questions about the complaints process, please visit the FAQs About the Complaints Process page for more information.

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