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 Bernard Morrow
The Law Society of Upper Canada's Complaint's Resolution Commissioner is Mr. Bernard Morrow. He is serving a two-year term that began on April 1, 2014.
Mr. Morrow has considerable experience as an adjudicator and mediator, and has been providing dispute resolution services since 1994. He is the principal of Morrow Mediation, a full-service dispute resolution firm.
Between 2002 and July 2013, he served as an adjudicator with the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario (IPC), while concurrently maintaining a private dispute resolution practice since 2010. Previously, he was a facilitator and legal counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General's Dispute Resolution Office and a mediator with the IPC.
Mr. Morrow has served as a roster mediator with the Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program, the Toronto Construction Association, and as mediator for various clients and organizations in both the private and public sectors, notably including the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
He was recently awarded the designation of Chartered Mediator, Canada's only official designation for practising mediators, by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada. Mr. Morrow is also a past-chair of the Ontario Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.
Prior to becoming a full-time dispute resolution professional, he engaged in the practice of law, with a focus on employment law and commercial litigation. In 1988, he received his LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Faculty of Law.
Mr. Morrow succeeds Mr. Stindar K. Lal, Q.C., who served as Complaints Resolution Commissioner from 2010 to 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