Filing a Complaint

Before filing a formal complaint:

  1. Review our public resources page to ensure your concern is a matter we can address. Please note that the Society cannot provide legal advice, lawyer referrals, assist with disputes about your lawyer’s fees.
  2. Share your concerns with the Society through our intake process. Submit an online intake form, email us at intake@nsbs.org or call our intake line at 902-422-1491. Please include your name, the lawyer’s name and a brief description of your concern.

Through the intake process, we can help determine if your concern is a matter we can address.

Filing a Complaint

If you wish to file a formal complaint, please complete the complaint form and return to the Society’s Director of Professional Responsibility at:

Director of Professional Responsibility
Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society
Cogswell Tower
800–2000 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3K1

We address concerns brought to our attention, but some matters may fall outside our mandate as the regulator or may not pose a need for early intervention or discipline.

After Filing a Complaint: The Complaints Process

  1. Your complaint is given to the Director of Professional Responsibility. The Director of Professional Responsibility reviews every complaint when it is received and decides what to do.
  2. If the complaint is something we can assist with or investigate, the Director will assign the complaint file to a Staff Lawyer in the Department of Professional Responsibility.
    If the complaint is not something we can help with or investigate, the Director will send you a detailed letter explaining why.
  3. If the complaint is something we can assist with or investigate, a Staff Lawyer in the Department of Professional Responsibility will send you a letter or call you and let you know the steps we are taking.

Request for Review

If you feel the reasons for your complaint being dismissed were incorrect

If you believe that the reasons for the complaint dismissal were not correct, you can file a Request for Review of the decision to dismiss your complaint. These requests are reviewed by an independent committee consisting of lawyers and public representative volunteers called the Complaints Review Committee.

The Committee can either:

  • confirm that the decision to dismiss your complaint was correct; or
  • refer your complaint back to the Director of Professional Responsibility with direction to either begin or complete an investigation of your complaint.

To submit a request for review the Society requires only the completed form. Please do not include additional information with your request for review form. Any additional information you send will not be reviewed and will be sent back to you.