Complaints process

Concerns about a lawyer’s conduct? The Society may be able to help. All lawyers who practise law in Nova Scotia must be members of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, which regulates the legal profession in the public interest. It is the Society’s responsibility to ensure all lawyers in the province practise ethically and competently and to investigate concerns that they have not. The Society sets standards of conduct, provides ethical advice, provides guidance to lawyers to improve their practices and, when necessary, disciplines lawyers who do not meet these standards.

Types of complaints

The nature of your complaint will affect the way it is handled. In some cases, the Society will not be able to assist. The Society does not provide legal services: for example, we cannot provide legal advice, change a court decision or adjust the amount of fees your lawyer has charged you. For complaints about lawyer negligence (saying that your lawyer has made a mistake) or your lawyer’s fee, see the sections on Fee disputes and negligence.

The Society addresses concerns relating to the rules of ethical and professional conduct, found in the Regulation section. The resolution process may involve mediation, dismissal, investigation by staff or the Complaints Investigation Committee and, in rare cases, public hearings or a remedy through the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Compensation

For more information, review the steps to take before filing a complaint and find out more about how the Society handles complaints