A complaint against a lawyer in the district of Gelderland can be filed by letter (Postbus 4152, 6803 ED Arnhem) or by fax (026 – 389 07 17) at the office of the Dean of the Gelderland Bar Association. If the fax contains more than three pages, we ask you to send the letter by post. Complaints by e-mail will not be accepted. Corresponding by e-mail during the procedure is not possible.

What happens after you filed your complaint?

Your complaint (which has to be written or translated in the Dutch language) will be investigated by the Dean. The Dean may have an assistant investigate your case or ask a member of the Raad van de Orde (Oversight Council) to do so, acting in the name of the Dean. You will receive a confirmation of the filed complaint, which will explain who is the investigating assistant and to whom you need to direct your questions.
The Dean will ensure clarity regarding the complaint. If the complaint is not clear then the designated person for your case will contact you first in order to clear any misunderstanding that may have occurred. The legal language is Dutch. The Dean can ask you to get translations of the letters or the supplements.
The lawyer implicated by the complaint will receive a copy of the original complaint. The lawyer then has the opportunity to respond with a written reply. The term in which to respond is usually three weeks, but a longer or shorter term is possible.
The lawyer will send you a copy of his written reply.
If further misunderstanding exists, the Dean may ask for clarification from both parties; he may also invite both parties for a meeting.
You and the lawyer in question will send copies of all correspondence to the Dean. This is to ensure the right of a fair hearing.
The Dean will try to mediate between the lawyer and yourself whenever possible. In case this mediation will not solve the problem or you do not wish further mediation, your complaint will still be an open case.
At completion of the investigation the Dean will notify you and the lawyer in question if possible of his findings. In case you disagree with his advice, you can notify the Dean you wish to have your complaint come before the Raad van Discipline (the disciplinary committee).
Upon your suggestion, the Dean will forward your complaint with all gathered evidence to the Raad van Discipline.
If the case will be handled by the Raad van Discipline, the court clerk will notify you of the court session in which you generally may be present. Three to six months time may elapse between the complaint being forwarded to the Raad van Discipline and the date of the court session. If your case will not be handled by the Raad van Discipline, the court clerk will notify you in writing.

October 2016