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.
Before you apply
Make sure you have a copy of the Board's decision. It will tell you about your right to apply for a review and information about the time limits.
Applications to appeal or re-hear a decision related to disciplinary action
If applying for a rehearing of a VCAT order, where the original complaint was made or investigation started on or after 12 December 2005 you must apply to have the decision re-heard within 28 days of the date of the VCAT order made at the hearing.
If appealing a decision by VCAT where the original complaint was made or investigation started before 12 December 2005 you must lodge a notice of appeal within 21 days of receiving a copy of the order made by the single member.
Disputes about legal costs
If you are a client or legal practitioner and you want us to hear your costs dispute under the Legal Profession Uniform Law or the Legal Profession Act 2004, you must apply within 60 days after receiving a written notice from the Legal Services Commissioner. The notice must state that the dispute has not been resolved by the Commisioner and state your right to make the application. If the 60 days time limit is about to expire you may be able to make the application by letter. Contact us if the 60 days time limit is about to expire and you want to apply.
See how long your VCAT case may take to resolve.
Need help with your application?
VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
If you want to be represented by a lawyer or have some other professional representation 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.
Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.
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. For more about applying for confidentiality.
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.
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.
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.