All practising lawyers in BC must be licensed and insured 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

If you believe someone is providing legal services without a licence, find out how to file a complaint

Risks of using unregulated legal services

You could be at risk for serious legal and financial consequences if you entrust legal matters to unlicensed and unregulated legal service providers.

  • 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 insurance and trust protection coverage

Common exceptions