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Complaints and Disciplinary Issues

If you are dissatisfied with the actions of the Advocate you have engaged and wish to make a complaint, you should contact their firm and follow the internal complaints process that such firm has in place. If the complaint cannot be resolved directly with the firm, it can be referred to the Chambre de Discipline.

Complaints against a Guernsey Advocate
Chambre de Discipline


  • The Chambre is a body established under law to consider complaints of professional misconduct against members of the Guernsey Bar (advocates). The legislation is The Guernsey Bar (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2007, as amended; a copy is attached and may also be accessed via


    The Chambre consists of three panels:- 

    • A lay panel; 

    • An advocate panel; 

    • A senior lawyer panel. 


    In summary, after initial investigation and evidence gathering by the Registrar (who is, or has recently been, a legal practitioner), a hearing may be arranged before the Chambre for a decision on the matter.

  • Any complaint must be one alleging professional misconduct; this can take a number of forms, but will generally involve a breach of the Guernsey Bar Rules. One definition of “professional misconduct” is “behaviour outside the bounds of what is considered acceptable or worthy of its membership by the governing body of a profession”.


    Complaints regarding allegedly excessive fees are not usually covered, unless the complaint is, for example, that the advocate concerned did not clearly set out the likely fees at commencement of the relationship, or did not keep the client updated regularly as to costs.

  • This will depend on a number of factors including the nature of the complaint, the volume of evidence to be considered and whether or not witnesses are called to give evidence in person. In some complex cases it is possible that a hearing might span several days.

  • Hearings are in private unless the respondent (the advocate who is the subject of the complaint) requests that it be in public, and the Chambre agrees that this would be in the interests of justice.

  • For each hearing, one member is selected from each of the three panels by the President of the Chambre (herself a lay person). The members choose a chairman from amongst themselves.

  • Further information can be obtained from the Batonnier, Advocate Marcus Leese tel: 01481 737152 / E-mail: /


    A copy of the form to be used for making a complaint against an Advocate and associated guidance can be found here.

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