Attorneys fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Legal Practice Council. Complaints must be lodged with the relevant office of the Legal Practice Council.
YOUR RIGHTS AS THE CLIENT OF AN ATTORNEY
As the client of an attorney, you have the right
Please note: The legal duty to release information about money deposited with your attorney can override the duty of confidentiality (for example, in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act) and the duty to court can override the duty to put your interests first.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS THE CLIENT OF AN ATTORNEY
As the client of an attorney you have the responsibility
YOUR RIGHT TO COMPLAIN
Attorneys are bound by a strict professional code. Most people are satisfied with the service of their attorney, but things do sometimes go wrong. That is why there is a clear and effective complaints procedure in place.
Communicate with your attorney. Experience has shown that many complaints arise from a lack of communication between the attorney and the client. Before lodging a complaint with the Law Society, it is suggested that you make an appointment with your attorney and that you raise your problems with him/her and ask him/her to inform you in regard to your enquiries. Remember, however, that an attorney is entitled to be remunerated for consultations.
Alternatively you may send the attorney a letter, preferably by registered post, asking him/her for a full report if he/she has not reported to you to your satisfaction. An attorney is obliged to report to a client on progress in a matter.
It is only fair to allow the attorney a reasonable opportunity to report to you before filing a complaint.
In terms of the Legal Practice Act, 2014, the Legal Practice Council will investigate all complaints of attorneys and advocates acting in an unprofessional manner.
What you can complain about
Where to complain
The Legal Practice Council conducts investigations to decide whether disciplinary action is required. The LPC cannot say how long an investigation will last, but all matters are dealt with as quickly as possible. Based on the facts presented, by both the client and the attorney, the law society will decide whether to refer the matter to a disciplinary committee.
Complaints about attorneys can be lodged with the relevant provincial office of the Legal Practice Council:
For attorneys in Gauteng, North-West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo
For attorneys in the Free State:
For attorneys in KwaZulu-Natal:
For attorneys in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape:
THE ROLE OF THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS' FIDELITY FUND (LPPF)
In terms of the Legal Practice Act the primary purpose of the Fund is to reimburse members of the public who may suffer monetary loss as a result of the theft of money or property entrusted to an attorney
The Fund does not reimburse loss suffered as a result of negligence by an attorney in the conduct of his/her practice. Business transactions are also not covered, or money handed to an attorney for investment purposes, nor loans to the attorney. Certain relationships such as family, business or partnership associations will preclude a person from claiming against the Fund.