Apply to review a decision by the Victorian Legal Services Board

If you have been affected by a decision of the Legal Services Board you may be able to apply to VCAT for a review of the decision.

Some decisions that can be reviewed by VCAT are decisions to:

  • refuse, suspend, cancel, amend or refuse to amend a practising certificate
  • require an applicant for a practising certificate to undergo a health assessment by someone appointed by the Board
  • require a legal practitioner to pay the costs of an investigation of their trust accounts.

Cases VCAT can hear

VCAT can hear applications for review of a decision by the Legal Services Board, where the person affected by the decision makes the application.

  • Make sure you have a copy of the Board's decision. It will tell you about your right to apply for a review. The decision also includes information about time limits.

  • When VCAT receives the completed application we assign a reference number and send a copy of the application to the parties. We also send a notice that tells the parties what happens next. For example you may be required to attend a directions hearing, a compulsory conference or mediation. Read more about steps when VCAT opens a case.

  • Complete the application form and pay the required fee. You must attach a copy of the Board's decision to your application. Read more about how to apply to VCAT.

  • At VCAT we use compulsory conferences and mediation to allow the parties to work together towards a settlement. If you have been told to attend a compulsory conference or mediation, you need to prepare an opening statement. Use the opening statement to clearly state your case and what you hope to achieve. It can be a helpful starting point for discussion between the parties. You also need to think about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the other party's case. See more about how to resolve a case by agreement.

  • A VCAT member decides the case based on witness statements, the evidence witnesses give at the hearing and the documents presented. The member also takes into account any submissions the parties make. As soon as you receive the notice of hearing from us, start preparing for the hearing. Read more about how to prepare for your final hearing.

  • Arrive at VCAT with plenty of time so that you are not late for your hearing. When your case is called, move into the hearing room. Parties have the opportunity to make statements in support of their case. Each party has a brief right of reply. Read more about what to expect on hearing day.

  • The VCAT member may give their decision at the end of the hearing. If they need more time they normally give a decision within six weeks of the last hearing date. The VCAT member may give reasons for the decision verbally or in writing. If you want the reasons in writing, make the request within 14 days of the hearing date. Read more about what to expect after the final hearing.

Professional representation

If you want to be represented by a lawyer or some other person at the final hearing tell the member at the directions hearing.

The VCAT member who conducts the final hearing grants or refuses permission for you to be represented.

Read more about professional representation at VCAT.

Remember your reference number

VCAT gives you a reference number for your case. Use this number whenever you call or write to us or the other people involved in the case.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. Learn more about applying for confidentiality.

If you need assistance at VCAT (including interpreters, hearing loop, video or telephone links or family violence support) please contact us as early as possible so we can support you. Learn more about customer support services at VCAT.