Complaints about advocates

Professional ethics

All legal practitioners and candidate legal practitioners are obliged to maintain the highest standards of honesty and professional integrity when rendering their services. The prevailing standard of conduct for all legal practitioners and candidate legal practitioners is the Code of Conduct developed by the Legal Practice Council.

Complaints to the Cape Bar

All members of the Cape Bar are also required to conduct their practices in accordance with the Cape Bar Constitution, Cape Bar Rules and the General Council of the Bar’s Uniform Rules of Professional Ethics.

Members of the Cape Bar are subject to the disciplinary processes of the Cape Bar and the General Council of the Bar of South Africa.

The Cape Bar’s guidelines for disciplinary enquiries are available here.

Lodging a complaint with the Cape Bar:

  • Complaints against members of the Cape Bar should be lodged in writing, specifying the conduct complained of, the name, surname, physical address, postal address, and email address of both the complainant and the advocate complained against.
  • The written complaints can be hand-delivered, emailed or faxed (depending on the size) to the Cape Bar’s offices. The Cape Bar’s contact details are available here.
  • Please note that the Cape Bar can only determine complaints relating to its members.
  • Complaints are not considered during court recess.

The Legal Practice Council

Please note that complaints may also be made to the Western Cape Provincial Legal Practice Council. The Legal Practice Council was established in terms of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014. It regulates all legal practitioners and all candidate legal practitioners (including members of the Cape Bar) in the country.

One of its objects is the maintenance of appropriate standards of professional practice and ethical conduct of all legal practitioners and candidate legal practitioners. It conducts investigations of its own into all complaints of professional misconduct lodged with it.

The contact details of the Western Cape Provincial Legal Practice Council are available here.

Complaints against advocates who are not members of the Cape Bar

As set out above, the Cape Bar can only determine complaints relating to its members.

All complaints against advocates who are not members of the Cape Bar must be lodged with the Western Cape Legal Practice Council directly.

The contact details of the Western Cape Provincial Legal Practice Council are available here.