Legal Complaints Review Officer

The Legal Complaints Review Officer provides independent oversight and review of decisions made by Standards Committees.

The Legal Complaints Review Officer (LCRO) is an independent statutory officer created by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. It provides independent oversight and review of the decisions made by the Standards Committees of the New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Society of Conveyancers.

The standards committees are a complaints service set up for clients of legal and conveyancing practitioners. The first step in the complaints process is for the client to lay a complaint through a standards committee.

Standards committees are made up of lawyers from the New Zealand Law Society or conveyancers from the New Zealand Society of Conveyancers. At least one member of each committee must be a lay person.

The LCRO’s reviews are as informal and straight forward as possible, while giving proper consideration to the process of the review itself and the law.

Orders that may be made by the LCRO

The LCRO may confirm, modify, or reverse any orders made by a standards committee. Those orders include:

  • censuring a practitioner; 
  • ordering an apology;
  • ordering compensation (up to $25,000);
  • ordering a reduction, cancellation or refund of fees;
  • ordering a practitioner to rectify an error or to pay to have an error rectified;
  • imposing a fine (of up to $15,000)
  • ordering that a practitioner's practice be made available for inspection;
  • ordering further education or training to be undertaken by a practitioner.

Read the Guidelines for Parties to Review (PDF, 274KB) for more information.

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