New Zealand Law Society - Information about making a report

Information about making a report

Do I need to provide my details?

When a report is received, it is triaged by experienced staff.

If you provide your contact details, we will contact you to discuss the process for handling it. This would include what restrictions, if any, there may be on the disclosure of the information you have reported, and protection that may need to be provided to any victims.

If you don't provide your details you may be unable to subsequently rely on the report as having discharged your obligations under rules 2.8 and 2.9 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008.

If the conduct is to be investigated, a Standards Committee may wish to rely on the contents of your report.

This process will be discussed with you in advance of any disclosure.

Will my identity be kept confidential?

We value the confidentiality of all parties during the investigation process.

If a Standards Committee wishes to investigate, the process may require the disclosure of the report and the details of who provided it, to afford the lawyer subject to complaint an appropriate opportunity to comment on all relevant matters.

We are happy to answer any questions about confidentiality you may have before you make a report. Please contact us on 0800 261 801.

What are the possible outcomes in relation to making a confidential report?

If the matter is investigated it could, if sufficiently serious, result in a finding of unsatisfactory conduct.

If the matter involves potential misconduct, it may be referred to the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal for its consideration.

How does the complaints process work?

Read about the complaints process on the Lawyers Complaints Service page.

Will I be advised of the outcome?

The outcome of any investigation generally remains confidential to the Standards Committee and the lawyer under investigation. Other parties (including you, if you made the initial report) will not be notified of the investigation’s outcome unless it is published or you decide you would rather pursue the matter as a complaint.

The outcome may be published if the Standards Committee considers it is appropriate to do so, but the identities of parties other than the lawyer would not be disclosed.

The identity of a lawyer found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct will only be published after approval by the Board of the Law Society and after the lawyer concerned has an opportunity to seek review to the Legal Complaints Review Officer. If a lawyer is found guilty of misconduct,  the decision as to whether or not to publish their identity will be made by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

Can I make a report against an employee of a law firm if they are not a lawyer?

While rules 2.8 and 2.9 specifically refer to lawyers, the Law Society is able to consider the conduct of employees of practices. We will contact you if any report regarding an employee is submitted via this reporting tool.