In any service industry, complaints are inevitable. However, many complaints are due to miscommunication or misunderstanding. When we receive a complaint about an ELINZ member, we work with the member and support them, and we work with the member of the public. Our key goal is to resolve the complaint fairly and efficiently and to allow both parties to move on. We may make suggestions to the member on how to avoid the situation again, and we may also need to educate (or re-educate) the member of the public. Expulsion from ELINZ is only considered after a fair and open dispute resolution process and as an absolute last resort.

Any person needing the assistance of our organisation to help resolve a dispute involving an ELINZ member is welcome to make written contact with either the President or the Secretary complaints@elinz.org.nz.

Overview

Here you will find information about making a complaint about a member of ELINZ.

Please note that we can only accept complaints involving current members of ELINZ about alleged breaches of our Code of Conduct.  We are unable to accept complaints about former members or non-members.
If you are considering making a complaint about a member of ELINZ, it is important to understand that our members consist of both lawyers and advocates.

Lawyers

If you believe the member you wish to complain about is a lawyer (i.e. a practising Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand), you can search the register of lawyers to check: https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-community/search-register-of-lawyers

If you wish to make a complaint about a lawyer member, you can lodge your complaint with the New Zealand Law Society and/or with ELINZ.  Further information about making a complaint to the law society can be found here:
https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-community/lawyers-complaints-service/how-to-make-a-complaint

You can also forward your complaint to ELINZ.  Our complaint process and form are set out below.

Advocates

Although a number of our advocate members have a law degree (i.e. are enrolled Barristers and Solicitors of the High Court of New Zealand), they are not practising as lawyers, so are not subject to the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

If the member you wish to complain about is an advocate (i.e. is not on the register of lawyers), you can forward your complaint to ELINZ. Our complaint process and form are set out below.

As a first step, we encourage you to attempt to address your complaint with the lawyer or advocate directly.

When we receive a complaint about a member of ELINZ, we work with the member of the public and we work with the member.

Our key goal is to resolve the complaint fairly and efficiently and to allow both parties to move on.  We may make suggestions to the member on how to avoid the situation again, and we may also provide information and education to the member of the public.

If you wish to make a complaint about a member of ELINZ, please complete the form at the bottom of this page, or alternatively, email us (with all relevant details) at complaints@elinz.org.nz

Complaint Process

Step One

1) All correspondence will be referred to the Member concerned, with a request that they either:

    1. contact you directly to discuss and resolve the issues between you (if a face-to-face meeting becomes necessary the Institute is willing to provide an Executive member to assist with the smooth-running of the meeting). If the issues are able to be resolved in this manner – both you and the member will be asked to confirm this in writing; and (from the perspective of our organisation) the matter will be at an end.
    2. provide a written response to our President to the issues that you have raised.

Step Two

2)  If Step 1) b) has been followed, the Member’s response will be forwarded to our President, who will then carry out either or both of the following:

  1. personally, or through a delegated ELINZ Executive Member, attempt to facilitate a resolution to the issues between you and the Member;
  2. give consideration as to whether or not the Member’s actions/inactions have breached the ELINZ Code of Conduct.

Step Three:

3)  If Step 2) b) has been followed and the President has decided that the ELINZ Code of Conduct may have been breached, he or she will seek further detailed information from you concerning the issues; and will then initiate the ELINZ Disciplinary Investigation Process;

4)  If Step 2) b) above has been followed and the President has decided that the ELINZ Code of Conduct does not appear to have been breached, he or she will provide you with a written response outlining the reasons for his or her decision, together with other suggestions of how the issue could be resolved.

Step Four:

5)  If Step 3) b) has been followed, you will have the ability to formally request the entire Executive Committee consider whether or not the President’s decision has been appropriate.

Complaint form