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  • What can I complain about?

    You can complain about a lawyer’s legal fee; which is the fee your own lawyer requires for his/her work, provided that the fee has not been determined by the court.  You can also complain about the conduct of a lawyer; conduct being the lawyer’s processing of your case and the lawyer’s behavior in general.

    The Disciplinary Board cannot determine whether a lawyer is liable under tort law.

  • What can the Disciplinary board decide upon?

    The Disciplinary Board can issue the lawyer a sanction (a reprimand, a fine or suspension) if the Disciplinary Board finds that the lawyer has acted in dispute of good conduct.

    Moreover, the Disciplinary Board can decide whether the lawyer’s legal fee is fair and can order the lawyer to pay back any excessively charged legal fee.

  • I want to complain about the lawyer’s legal fee – do I have to pay the lawyer’s legal fee before I complain?

    It is up to you to decide whether you want to pay the legal fee. If you pay the legal fee and the complaint is completely sustained, the lawyer will be required to repay the fee in whole or partly, with interest from the amount received for recovery. If you decide not to pay the fee, and a complaint regarding legal fee is filed, the lawyer may not issue court proceedings for the fee requirement while your complaint is being processed. Do be aware, that if your complaint is not sustained, the lawyer is entitled to the legal fee and to claim interest and costs after the interest law rules of the commission, which is approved in the claim.

  • Do I get my money back if my complaint about a lawyer’s legal fee is sustained?

    The lawyer has to pay the legal fee back within four weeks of the Disciplinary Board’s decision, unless the lawyer chooses to initiate legal proceedings against you. If so, the court will decide whether the lawyer has a claim to the legal fee. If the lawyer does not pay the legal fee back or initiate legal proceedings against you, the Council of the Danish Bar and Law Society can assist you in getting the legal fee back. In that case, you have to contact the Secretariat of the Council.

  • Does the lawyer have to pay interest if my complaint is sustained?

    Yes. If you have paid the entire legal fee to the lawyer, and if your legal fee complaint is sustained, the lawyer has to pay back the legal fee with interests. The interest is the statutory interest. The lawyer has to pay interest on the amount from the time where he/she received the payment until the time he/she pays back the amount.

  • Do I have a good case?

    The Secretariat receives a lot of calls from people who, prior to filing a possible complaint, are asking “if it is worthwhile complaining”. An example would be asking if you can expect your complaint to be sustained. Unfortunately, the Secretariat does not have the ability to answer this question prior to the filing of your complaint, since both the Secretariat and the Disciplinary Board have to remain neutral, and since knowledge of documents, appendixes etc. often is needed. You can search in Advokatnævnets Praksissamling where you might find cases that are similar to yours. However, it is important to keep in mind that all cases are concretely and individually decided upon.

  • If I am thinking of filing a complaint, how can the Secretariat then guide me?

    The Secretariat refers to “Do I have a good case?”, which you can read about above. The Disciplinary Board is a court-like complaints board, and the Secretariat does not provide counseling. It can only guide you about the process and the procedure for the handling of a complaint etc.

  • I would like to complain about a trustee/administrator etc. Should I complain to The Disciplinary Board or the Probate Court?

    Complaints regarding a lawyer’s fees:

    It is the responsibility of the Probate Court to decide on a bankruptcy trustee's/administrator's fees. The Disciplinary Board does therefore not have the jurisdiction to handle or decide upon a complaint regarding a trustee's/administrator's fees. If you wish to complain about the fee, you must contact the Probate Court.

    Complaints regarding the conduct of a lawyer:

    The Disciplinary Board handles complaints regarding lawyers' behavior.

    In some cases, where the lawyer has been appointed by the Probate Court to perform a special function, such as administrator or trustee, the competence to handle a complaint lies with The Disciplinary Board, in other cases the competence to process a complaint lies with the Probate Court. When the Probate Court has ruled on a complaint, the Disciplinary Board may in certain cases have jurisdiction to handle the complaint.

    Whether a complaint should be filed with the Probate court or with the Disciplinary Board depends on a specific assessment of the complaint. If the Disciplinary Board does not consider itself competent to process your complaint and rejects it based on the nature of the complaint, you will receive a refund of your complaint fee. Please note, that there is a 1-year time limit for complaints to the Disciplinary Board

    If you are complaining about a trustee/administrator, you should state whether the complaint also has been filed with the Probate Court, and whether the Probate Court has processed the complaint. If this is the case, you should submit the Probate Court's decision with the complaint to the Disciplinary Board.

  • How is a complaint processed?

    Using the Disciplinary Board’s digital solution is recommended. For more information, read: How do I file a complaint.

    The other party cannot see your complaint immediately when you submit it, but the following submissions in the case can be seen by both parties at the same time. If you are a lawyer, you must therefore remember to send a copy of the complaint to the other party, as it may be contrary to good legal practice not to do so.

    After a screening and possible clarification of the complaint, the complaint will enter a hearing procedure, this includes sending the complaint to the lawyer or law firm being complained against.

  • Can I complain about a legal professional who is not an attorney?

    No. The Disciplinary Board only handles complaints against lawyers and their conduct and/or a lawyers' fees. If you want to complain against a legal professional who has provided you with legal advice, you can read more here.

  • Is there a deadline for filing a complaint?

    Yes. The deadline for both complaints regarding lawyer’s fees and the conduct of a lawyer is one year. In cases regarding the lawyer’s fee, the deadline is calculated from receival of the final settlement, cf. section 146 of the Danish Administration of Justice Act. Please note, that any correspondence about the reasonableness of the fee with the lawyer, after the receival of the final invoice, does not generally lead to an exemption from the one-year deadline. In cases regarding a lawyer’s conduct, the deadline is calculated from the time when you have become aware of what you want to complain about, cf. section 147 b of the Danish Administration of Justice Act.

    The Disciplinary Board may consider processing a complaint that has been filed too late if the delay is reasonably justified. Prior to the Board's decision, the Secretariat cannot state whether the Board will consider the delay to be reasonably justified. However, as a complainant, you can make sure that the Board receives a detailed explanation of why the deadline has been exceeded, if you want an exemption from the deadline.

  • How long does it take to process a complaint?

    The Secretariat expects that complaints filed now will have an average processing time of less than 6 months. It should be noted that this is an average case processing time, and that the processing time in individual cases can vary greatly depending on, amongst other things, the nature and complexity of the case and the duration of the party hearing process. As a party in a complaint case, you can contribute to a short case processing time by making sure to include everything in your submissions, instead of submitting your remarks and/or appendixes on an ongoing basis, and by not submitting further materials once the exchange of pleadings has been finalized.

  • Does it cost anything to file a complaint or apply for a reopening of a case?

    A complaint fee of DKK 500 must be paid when a complaint is filed or when the complainant applies for a reopening of a case, cf. section 16 of bekendtgørelse om nævnets virksomhed. No fee needs to be paid for complaints filed by public authorities, the courts, the Danish Bar and Law Society or for requests to reopen a case from the respondent of the complaint. If a complaint is filed against several lawyers, the complaint must be filed against each lawyer on the Disciplinary Board’s digital solution and a fee must be paid per complaint. If complaints about fees and conduct are filed against the same lawyer, only one fee should be paid. You will be charged the fee via the Disciplinary Board’s digital solution when you submit the complaint digitally. If the fee is refunded, it will be refunded to the same card number.

    The processing of a complaint will not begin until the fee has been paid. Please note this in relation to the deadline for filing a complaint. The Secretariat may reject the appeal/request for reopening of a case if the fee has not been paid within the deadline set by the Secretariat.

    The fee will be refunded if the appeal is fully or partially upheld, if the appeal is rejected due to formal deficiencies, or if the request for reopening is granted and the complaint is sustained. Furthermore, the fee is refunded if the complaint is withdrawn before the Disciplinary Board makes a decision.