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The Legal Profession Amendment Act

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If you need an official copy, use the bilingual (PDF) version.

S.M. 2021, c. 6

Bill 24, 3rd Session, 42nd Legislature

The Legal Profession Amendment Act

Explanatory Note

This note was written as a reader's aid to the Bill and is not part of the law.

This Bill amends The Legal Profession Act to expand the range of people who can provide legal services beyond lawyers.

The Law Society of Manitoba may issue a limited practice certificate that authorizes a person who is not a lawyer to engage in a limited law practice, subject to conditions and restrictions set out in the rules and regulations. These limited practitioners must meet education and training requirements and are regulated by the Law Society.

The Legal Profession Act currently allows specified persons who are not lawyers to perform certain legal functions identified in the Act. The amendments allow the Law Society to make rules that permit specified classes of people who are not lawyers to provide the legal services set out in the rules. The Law Society may impose conditions and restrictions on people who are permitted to provide those legal services.

(Assented to May 12, 2021)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. L107 amended

1

The Legal Profession Act is amended by this Act.

2

Section 1 is amended by adding the following definitions:

"limited practice certificate" means a certificate issued to a person under section 25.1 that authorizes the person to engage in the limited practice of law. (« certificat d'exercice restreint »)

"limited practitioner" means a person who holds a valid limited practice certificate issued by the society. (« praticien à exercice restreint »)

3

The following is added after section 1:

Expanded definitions — "lawyer", "member" and "practising lawyer"

1.1

In the provisions of this Act specified by regulation made under clause 25.2(1)(c), a reference to "lawyer", "member" or "practising lawyer" includes a reference to a limited practitioner, subject to any changes set out in that regulation.

4

The following is added after clause 20(4)(e):

(f) a person or a member of a class of persons set out in rules made under section 20.1 who is providing the legal services specified in those rules in accordance with any conditions or restrictions in those rules.

5

The following is added after section 20:

Rules re permitted legal service providers

20.1

The benchers may make rules permitting a person or a member of a class of persons set out in the rules to provide specified legal services, subject to any conditions or restrictions set out in the rules.

6

The following is added after section 25 and before the centred heading that follows it:

LIMITED PRACTITIONERS

Limited practitioners

25.1(1)

The society may issue a limited practice certificate that authorizes the holder to carry on the limited practice of law as specified in the certificate, subject to the rules and regulations.

Eligibility

25.1(2)

A limited practice certificate may be issued to a person who

(a) does not meet the requirements to become a member as a lawyer or student;

(b) has complied with the rules respecting applications for limited practice certificates;

(c) has satisfied all education and training requirements set out in the rules and regulations;

(d) agrees to practise law in accordance with the conditions and restrictions that apply to limited practitioners; and

(e) pays the fees specified in the rules.

Rules re limited practitioners

25.1(3)

The benchers may make rules respecting the issuance of limited practice certificates and the regulation of limited practitioners, including rules respecting

(a) eligibility requirements to become a limited practitioner;

(b) applications for a limited practice certificate, including the application fee;

(c) criteria to be considered on an application for a limited practice certificate;

(d) education and training of limited practitioners;

(e) annual fees to be paid by limited practitioners;

(f) any insurance to be maintained by limited practitioners;

(g) conditions and restrictions on the practice of law by limited practitioners;

(h) measures to ensure the competence of limited practitioners;

(i) discipline of limited practitioners.

Code of conduct

25.1(4)

The benchers may establish or adopt a code of conduct for limited practitioners.

Regulations re limited practitioners

25.2(1)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting the education and training of limited practitioners;

(b) establishing conditions, restrictions or prohibitions on the practice of law by limited practitioners, including prohibiting limited practitioners from practising specified areas of law or engaging in specified activities;

(c) specifying the provisions of this Act that apply to limited practitioners, with any necessary changes;

(d) respecting any other matter necessary or advisable to regulate limited practitioners.

Conflict

25.2(2)

If there is a conflict or inconsistency between the rules and the regulations respecting limited practitioners, the regulations prevail.

Compliance with rules and regulations

25.3

A limited practitioner must comply with the rules and regulations respecting limited practitioners.

Register

25.4(1)

The chief executive officer must maintain a register of limited practitioners.

Additional information

25.4(2)

The chief executive officer must record any change to the status of a limited practitioner and any conditions or restrictions imposed on a limited practitioner that do not apply to all limited practitioners.

Reference in other Acts and regulations

25.5

Unless expressly provided otherwise, a reference in any other Act or in any regulation, rule, by-law or order made under any other Act to a lawyer, barrister, solicitor or other person entitled to carry on the practice of law is deemed to include a reference to a limited practitioner, if the practitioner is authorized to provide the legal services referred to in that provision.

7

Clause 27(a) is replaced with the following:

(a) a lawyer , student or limited practitioner; or

Coming into force

8

This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.