About the Review Officer

The Legal Complaints Review Officer:

  • exercises the powers of review given to it by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (external link)
  • may promote the resolution of complaints or issues, by negotiation, conciliation, or mediation
  • provides advice to the New Zealand Law Society, the New Zealand Society of Conveyancers and the Minister of Justice on any relevant issues identified while carrying out a review.

What the Legal Complaints Review Officer can help with

The Review Officer can:                               

  • review all or part of a standards committee decision, investigation, or general treatment of complaints
  • investigate (or decline to investigate further) all or part of a standards committee decision
  • postpone a review so parties can consider resolving the matter
  • exercise, for the purpose of any inquiry or investigation, all the powers of a standards committee.

What Orders the Legal Complaints Review Officer can make

In its final decision, the Review Officer can:

  • confirm, modify or reverse the standards committee decision
  • recommend the standards committee reconsider all or part of a matter
  • lay a charge before the Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal
  • direct the standards committee to lay a charge (that may also include an application to suspend) before the Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Review Officer may make an order:

  • 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. 

Annual reports

2016 annual report of the Legal Complaints Review Officer [PDF, 389 KB]

2015 annual report of the Legal Complaints Review Officer [PDF, 210 KB]

2014 annual report of the Legal Complaints Review Officer [PDF, 1.7 MB]

2013 annual report of the Legal Complaints Review Officer [PDF, 628 KB]

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