After the


How are solicitors disciplined?

If the Professional Conduct Committee is of the opinion that the alleged conduct may amount to professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct more appropriately dealt with by NCAT it may refer the conduct to NCAT for determination.

If the Professional Conduct Committee decides that the solicitor has engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct, it may:

  • caution the solicitor
  • reprimand the solicitor
  • fine the solicitor up to $25,000;
  • require the solicitor to apologise for the conduct;
  • require the solicitor to undertake training, education or counselling or be supervised;
  • impose a condition on the solicitor's practising certificate.

What if I don’t agree with the Committee's decision?

The NSW Legal Services Commissioner has the absolute discretion to conduct an internal review of a decision of the Professional Conduct Committee to close a complaint.

If he considers it appropriate to conduct an internal review, the NSW Legal Services Commissioner assesses whether the decision was dealt with appropriately and whether it was based on reasonable grounds.

What can the Commissioner decide about my review?

Following an internal review, the NSW Legal Services Commissioner may confirm the Professional Conduct Committee’s decision, make a new decision or refer the complaint back to the Law Society Council for reinvestigation.

More information about how to apply for a review and the review process can be found on the NSW Legal Services Commissioner’s website.

What happens in the NCAT?

If the complaint reaches this stage, Law Society Council commences the proceedings against the solicitor.

If the NCAT determines that the conduct amounts to unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct it can may make any orders that it thinks fit, including:

  • a caution;
  • a reprimand;
  • a fine;
  • a compensation order;
  • a requirement that the solicitor undertake further legal education
  • a restriction on the kind of work that the solicitor may perform
  • suspension or cancellation of the solicitor’s practising certificate, or
  • an order recommending removal of the solicitor’s name from the Supreme Court’s Roll of Lawyers.

More information about professional discipline proceedings in NCAT in relation to solicitors (including in relation to any rights of appeal) can be found at the NCAT website.

For more detailed information about the making and determination of complaints about solicitors, download the Complaints Process Information Brochure.