All practising lawyers in BC must be licensed and covered under the compulsory policy by the Law Society of BC. Those who are unlicensed and offer legal services for a fee or misrepresent themselves as lawyers put the public at risk.

Examples of these legal services, if performed for or in the expectation of a fee, gain or reward, include:

  • appearing as counsel or advocate before a court or an administrative tribunal
  • preparing court documents, including divorce filings and separation agreements
  • incorporating companies and preparing and maintaining corporate records
  • drafting wills and probate documents and assisting with probate or the administration of an estate
  • giving legal advice
  • negotiating the settlement of a claim or demand for damages
  • commencing, prosecuting or defending proceedings in court on behalf of others, regardless of whether it is done for a fee.
  • offering to perform the above mentioned services or representing that a person is qualified or entitled to perform the services

You could be at risk for serious legal and financial consequences if you entrust legal matters to unlicensed and unregulated legal service providers. Potential risks include the following:

  • Lawyers have the education and training necessary to give legal advice and perform legal services
  • Lawyers are subject to ethical and practice standards and regulation by the Law Society
  • Lawyers carry indemnity and trust protection coverage

Common exceptions