Complaint against an attorney – Information regarding complaint against an attorney
- Who has the right to complain?
- What type of complaints does The Norwegian Bar Association accept?
- What type of complaints does The Norwegian Bar Association not accept?
- What am I required to include in a formal complaint?
- Where do I send the complaint?
- Complaint deadline
- What will complaining lead to?
- Right to appeal
The Norwegian Bar Association has a Disciplinary Committee that handles complaints against attorneys who are accused of violating The Rules for Proper Conduct for Attorneys (Regler for god advokatskikk) or of charging an unreasonably high fee.
All Norwegian attorneys are obligated by law to follow The Rules of Proper Conduct for Attorneys. If you believe an attorney has violated these rules, you may file a complaint to The Norwegian Bar Association’s Disciplinary Committee. Filing a complaint is completely free of charge.
Who has the right to complain?
Anyone can file a complaint against an attorney. However, the complaint is only admissible when the complainant is considered to have a “legal interest” in getting the complaint handled.
The assessment of who is considered to have a “legal interest” in getting the complaint handled is made by the Disciplinary committee in each specific case. There is no requirement for a formal client-attorney relationship. If the complainant is not considered to have «legal interest» in the case, the complaint will be rejected.
What type of complaints does The Norwegian Bar Association accept?
- Complaints regarding an attorney’s ethical conduct
- Complaints regarding the attorney’s fee
What type of complaints does The Norwegian Bar Association not accept?
The Norwegian Bar Association’s Disciplinary Committee and the publicly designated Disciplinary Board cannot process a complaint if the case is also being brought before a court of law. This means that a complaint in progress may be stopped if a case regarding the same matter is being brought before a court of law.
Some attorneys work as real estate agents and are affiliated Reklamasjonsnemnda for eiendomsmeglingssaker (The Complaint Board for Real Estate Agency Cases).
If you have a complaint regarding an attorney work as real estate agents and the attorney is affiliated Reklamasjonsnemnda for eiendomsmeglingssaker (The Complaint Board for Real Estate Agency Cases) the complaint must be sent to this comittee.
What am I required to include in a formal complaint?
- The name and the address of the attorney who is the subject of the complaint.
- An explanation of why you believe the attorney has violated The Rules of Proper Conduct for attorneys and/or an explanation of why you believe the demanded fee is too high. Please provide a brief presentation of the factual circumstances. It is important, whenever possible, that you provide the dates for all mentioned events. We ask you also to include when you became aware of the matter(s) that is/are the subject of the complaint.
- Enclose copies of letters and other documents that you believe are relevant for the complaint, for example the Letter of Confirmation (oppdragsbekreftelsen).
- Complete an attorney complaint form with declaration of consent to the processing and handling of personal data. Documents received without the complaint form attached will be returned to the complainant.
All documents must be written and submitted in two copies.
Where do I send the complaint?
Please send two copies of the written and signed complaint, enclosed with documentation, in duplicate, and a filled-out and signed consent form by regular mail to:
Kristian Augustsgt. 9
Label the envelope “Disciplinary Complaint”.
A complaint to the Norwegian Bar Association’s Disciplinary Committee must be submitted no later than six months after the complainant became aware of, or should have become aware of, the subject of the complaint.
If you believe there are special reasons that made it impossible for you to file your complaint(s) within the deadline, you may still be able to submit a complaint later than the deadline. The Disciplinary Committee will then assess if the complaint should still be processed.
However, if the circumstances of your complaint date back more than three years, your complaint will be rejected regardless of your reasons for complaining so late.
What will complaining lead to?
Sanctions exist of criticism, reprimands or warnings issued to the attorney.
Particularly serious complaints may, in addition, be reported to the Norwegian Bar Association’s
Executive Board and to the public supervisory bodies. The most serious cases can therefore result in the attorney’s disbarment from the Norwegian Bar Association and/or loss of his or her license to practice law.
You will not receive compensation if your complaint is upheld by the Disciplinary Committee. If you believe you are entitled to a compensation for a mistake your attorney has committed, you may contact the attorney’s insurance company. To find out where the attorney is insured, contact The Supervisory Council for Legal Practice on telephone 22 00 75 00.
If a complaint relates to the size of the attorney’s fee, the Disciplinary Committee
may determine that the fee shall be reduced or waived completely.
If an attorney does not repay his fee in accordance with a disciplinary decision made by the
Disciplinary Committee, please contact the Disciplinary Board and they will assist you in collecting the amount that is rightfully owed to you. If the attorney does not repay his fee in accordance with a disciplinary decision made by
the Disciplinary Board, you may contact the enforcement officer/enforcement bailiff for assistance in collecting the amount.
If your complaint is upheld by the Disciplinary Committee, they may order the
attorney to cover the expenses you have incurred in connection with the complaint. In that case you must present a written claim for this in your complaint. Only reasonable expenses can be covered.
Right to appeal
Both the complainant and the attorney against whom the complaint was filed may appeal a decision from the Norwegian Bar Association’s Disciplinary Committee to the publicly designated Disciplinary Board.
The appeal must be submitted to the Disciplinary Board no later than three weeks after the complainant became aware of the decision from the Disciplinary Committee.
If you have questions or are seeking more information about complaint against an attorney, please contact us on telephone 22 03 50 34, on weekdays between 12.00 and 3.00 p.m.