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How to lodge a complaint

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Act quickly on complaints

The law imposes time limits on making a complaint. 

For complaints about legal costs or bills, you have:

  • 30 days to dispute your costs if you have received an itemised bill, and
  • 60 days to dispute your costs if you have received a lump sum bill

Please note that your lawyer can sue you after 30 days for an unpaid bill. We cannot help you with your complaint if you’ve been sued.

For complaints about behaviour or quality of service, you have:

  • 3 years to make a complaint.

We may be able to extend the above timeframes, but only if certain circumstances exist. 

Making a complaint

  1. Raise your issue with your lawyer directly.  You need to have tried to resolve your issue yourself before we can take a complaint.  We can give you some tips on how to do this effectively, or you can view our Tips to handling a dispute page
  2. Read the Before making a complaint and How the complaint process works pages to make sure your complaint is one we can handle and that you know what information we need from you
  3. Find all the documents you have about your legal case and your interactions with your lawyer
  4. Call our office to talk to our team about your issue

Tel: 1300 796 344

Reporting sexual harassment

If you wish to discuss a matter confidentially, or make a complaint relating to sexual harassment by a lawyer, please:

  • call us on (03) 9679 8001 or 1300 796 344 and ask to talk to a member of the Sexual Harassment Complaints Team, or
  • email, or
  • send mail addressed to the Sexual Harassment Complaints Team, Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner, GPO Box 492, Melbourne VIC 3001.

You can read more about making a sexual harassment complaint about a lawyer here.

Compensation claims

If you have lost money or property held in trust by a lawyer, a law clerk or barrister’s clerk, you may be able make a claim for compensation. For information on making a claim, please see the Compensation page.

National Redress Scheme for institutional child sexual abuse

A free government-funded service is available to assist you with applying for compensation under the National Redress Scheme for institutional child sexual abuse. Find out more here.

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