Complaints Resolution Commissioner — The Law Society's “Ombudsman”
The Law Society of Upper Canada regulates the lawyers and paralegals of Ontario in the public interest. As part of that mandate, we have the authority to deal with a range of professional conduct matters relating to lawyers and licensed paralegals.
In cases where a complaint against a lawyer or paralegal has been closed by staff in the Complaints Resolution or Investigations Department and you are unsatisfied with the result, you can apply to the Complaints Resolution Commissioner to review the case.
The Complaints Resolution Commissioner plays a vital role in the Law Society's complaints resolution process, one similar to an ombudsman. The Commissioner will review the file under dispute — just like an ombudsman would — to ensure that the complaint was handled appropriately and the results were reasonable. This often involves face-to-face meetings with complainants.
This important function is independent of the Law Society of Upper Canada's professional regulation activities.
Unlike a typical ombudsman, however, the Law Society's Complaints Resolution Commissioner also has the authority to provide alternative dispute resolution between lawyers or paralegals and their clients for issues that do not require a regulatory response.
Read this information sheet for more on the Complaints Resolution Commissioner.
About Stindar K. Lal, Q.C.
The Law Society of Upper Canada's Complaints Resolution Commissioner is Mr. Stindar K. Lal, Q.C.
Mr. Lal is a former deputy minister in six different ministries of the Ontario government, including Environment, Consumer and Commercial Relations, Municipal Affairs, Citizenship, Management Board Secretariat, and the Solicitor-General. He served as a Deputy Minister of Justice and lawyer for the government of the Northwest Territories; was involved in the patriation of the Canadian Constitution particularly as it related to the entrenchment of Aboriginal rights; and was instrumental in the establishment of a self-regulating Law Society of the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Lal is a long-serving chair of the Inuvialuit Arbitration Board established to resolve disputes arising out of the Land Claims Agreement of the Western Arctic Inuit and the Government of Canada or industry. He also served as general counsel to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
New Complaints Resolution Commissioner appointed
The Law Society has appointed Bernard Morrow as its new Complaints Resolution Commissioner. He will serve a two-year term, beginning April 1, 2014.
For more information
If you have any questions about how to request a review by the Commissioner, please contact the Office of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner.
155 University Avenue
Telephone: (416) 947-3442
Toll Free Number: 1-866-880-9480 (Ext. 3442)
Fax: (416) 947-5213