LAO complaints process more transparent for clients

Posted on: Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has developed a new client-friendly complaints policy that makes it easier for complainants to understand how issues are resolved. The revised policy is more client-focussed and consolidates information about clinics, Legal Aid Ontario, and legal aid lawyer complaints into one document.

The revised policy is written in simpler language, and presents a comprehensive view of the process, divided into three stages. Clients are first encouraged to resolve their issues at the local legal clinic or legal aid location. If there is no resolution at the local level, concerns are then directed to the Complaints Department. Complainants who are still dissatisfied have the option to escalate their matters to LAO’s General Counsel Office. The complaint is forwarded to the director of appeals, whose decision is final.

The policy is available to clients upon request. Clients can also refer to new easy-to-follow flowcharts that outline the complaints process.

Making our complaint process more transparent for clients is part of LAO’s ongoing strategy to make legal aid services more easily accessible for low-income Ontarians. Each year, LAO provides more than one million legal assists to low-income Ontarians.

In 2009-2010, LAO received 353 complaints, the majority of which pertain to services provided by lawyers acting on legal aid certificates. At the local clinic or legal aid office, 337 complaints were resolved, while 12 were directed to the Complaints Department. Only four were escalated to the appeals director.


If you have any questions or require more information please contact:

Complaints Department
Legal Aid Ontario
40 Dundas St. West - Suite 200
Toronto Ontario, M5G 2H1

Phone: (416) 204-7104
Toll Free: 1-866-874-9786
Fax: (416) 204-4718