Call us on 9219 5000.
You can attend one of our offices to make a complaint.
Write to us at:
Complaints Legal Aid NSW
PO Box K847
Haymarket NSW 1238
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact us through
Call TIS National on 13 14 50 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday – Friday.
Staff with the right knowledge and experience will respond to your concerns. We aim to do this within 15 business days or 30 business days if your complaint is about a panel lawyer or another external party. If it will take longer then we will contact you to let you know how long it may take.
If your grant application was refused you should have received a letter from us giving you the reasons for our decision.
Please note that not all grant decisions can be appealed to LARC. Generally, only about 10% of appeals to LARC result in the decision being changed. Once LARC makes a decision about your matter it is closed and cannot be re-opened.
LARC will not respond to any further correspondence after it is closed.
We will only consider a new application if your situation has changed significantly and you are able to prove this with supporting information.
We apply a number of rules to assess a person's eligibility for legal aid. For example having a job and a car does not automatically mean you will not get a grant. Before you write to us you may want to look at the 'means test indicator' page on our website for more detailed information about what is needed to qualify for aid.
We always look closely at information people send us to make sure that grants go to people who are eligible.
However, if you write to us about another person's dealings with Legal Aid NSW the law stops us from giving you any information about the other person. We cannot even confirm if the person is, or is not, getting a grant of legal aid.
If you want to tell us why you think another person is not eligible for a grant of legal aid you can fill out the online form.
We expect you to try to resolve issues directly with the lawyer first. This gives them a chance to understand your issues and to resolve them with you.
If you have a grant of legal aid and you want to change your lawyer, there must be exceptional circumstances. These include:
When deciding whether we will change your lawyer, we will consider:
If you need to change your lawyer because of exceptional circumstances, you can ask your current lawyer to submit a transfer via Grants Online.
If you cannot get in contact with your current lawyer, you must put your request in writing. Please include your full name, file identification number (if you know it), the name of your lawyer and the reasons for the transfer, and send your request to the Grants Division of Legal Aid NSW at:
The Grants Division of Legal Aid NSW
PO BOX K847
Or by email:
If Legal Aid NSW decide not to change your lawyer and you do not instruct and co-operate with your lawyer, we may terminate your grant of legal aid.
If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we will need them to agree that we can respond to you. Please complete the ‘Client authority form’ for complaints when you send us your complaint.
By law we must have the consent of the person you are complaining on behalf of. If you don't do this, we can't give you any information about our dealings with the other person. We are not even able to confirm if that person does or does not have a grant of legal aid.
Please note that Legal Aid NSW and the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner cannot remove the ICL from the matter unless the ICL agrees to this or the Court makes an order.
Before you make a complaint about an ICL, it is important to understand the role of the ICL and how they are appointed.
The Court appoints an ICL. Legal Aid NSW then allocates an ICL to a matter and makes decisions about the grant of legal aid to the ICL.
Lawyers acting as ICLs under a grant of legal aid are required to comply with Legal Aid NSW's practice standards.
It is unlikely that Legal Aid NSW will take any action if your complaint is simply that you disagree with the views of the ICL. The way in which the ICL acts may not always meet with the approval of the parties or the child but this does not mean that the ICL has failed in his or her professional responsibilities.
If you believe that the ICL is not performing his or her professional responsibilities you have the following options:
Anonymous feedback can provide us with useful information that can lead to service improvements. This feedback will be registered and referred to the relevant area for review. We are unable to respond to any anonymous information.
Our Complaints Handling Policy underpins our commitment to acknowledge, investigate and respond to customer complaints and feedback, and to be open to opportunities to improve our systems and service.
When you make a complaint we will collect your personal information for the purpose of investigating or responding to the complaint.
You are not required to provide us any personal information with your complaint, but we are unable to respond to an anonymous complaint.
You can ask us to access or correct your personal information.
We will not tell anyone what you tell us unless you say we can, or for example, it raises serious issues, the law says we must or it would be reasonably expected in the circumstances. We deal with your personal information in accordance with the NSW privacy legislation and the Legal Aid NSW Privacy Management Plan. View more information about privacy, or contact your nearest office.
Most customers behave respectfully and responsibly when engaging with us.
In a small number of cases, customers may behave in ways that are concerning and difficult to manage, despite our efforts to assist.
Read about our Unreasonable Client Conduct Policy for further information.