E-Brief: February 2022

Update on the Cayton Report

At its first meeting of 2022, the governing board of the Law Society continued consideration of the recommendations set out in the Cayton Report. Senior staff of the Law Society have been asked to prepare a summary of the recommendations that identifies where related work is either complete or underway and follow-up actions requiring board decisions. The board is expected to continue to consider the recommendations over the course of the next several meetings.

Indigenous intercultural course information and FAQs

With the launch of the Indigenous intercultural course in January, some lawyers have contacted the Law Society to express their compliments on the course, and others to ask questions. We have developed FAQs to help you learn more about the free, online course that all practising lawyers in BC are required to complete over two years. Read the FAQS here.

Free proactive practice assessment

It can be challenging for newly called lawyers who are sole practitioners or in a small firm environment to learn everything they need to know about the practice of law. To help those who may be struggling to identify and address issues with their law practice, the Law Society’s Practice Standards group has developed and is piloting a new, proactive practice assessment program. This voluntary program will provide participants with access to a senior legal practitioner who meets for free, one-on-one consultations to review existing practice management systems and to make recommendations for possible improvements. Any lawyers interested in the practice assessment program can email srpa@lsbc.org.

Creating a process for administrative penalties

The Benchers have approved in principle the creation of administrative financial penalties to more effectively, efficiently and proportionately deal with certain types of conduct such as client identification and verification and cash transactions rule breaches. Staff will draft rules to support a comprehensive process that takes into account issues of procedural fairness and due process for approval by the Benchers at a later date.

BC First Nations Justice Council opens four Indigenous Justice Centres

The first Indigenous Justice Centres were officially opened in late January, with locations in Merritt, Prince George and Prince Rupert and a virtual centre online. Indigenous Justice Centres provide culturally appropriate information, advice, support and representation directly to Indigenous people at the community level. See the announcement here.

Access to Justice Week BC events in February

Access to Justice Week BC is taking place from February 7 to 11 this year. During the week, there will be learning opportunities about initiatives being developed to improve the availability of legal services for British Columbians seeking access to justice. On February 9, from 4:30 to 6 pm, legal sector analyst Jordan Furlong will deliver a keynote presentation titled “Redefining competencies for the 21st century lawyer” that examines opportunities and demands facing current lawyers, the competencies that they need, and how every stakeholder in the legal profession can use these new competencies to help address the access to justice predicament. Registration is open here.

On February 24, from 12:45 to 1:45 pm, the Provincial Court will present a one-hour, interactive webinar titled “Supporting Self Represented Litigants in Provincial Court: Resources and Q&A.” BC Provincial Court judges will showcase some of the resources available for litigants navigating proceedings.

For more information about the events, visit the A2J Week website.

Reminder land owner transparency reports due no later than November 30, 2022

The Ministry of Finance would like to remind lawyers that by November 30, 2022, clients holding an interest in land as a reporting body – a relevant corporation, relevant trust or relevant partnership, as defined by the Land Owner Transparency Act – are required to file a transparency report in Land Owner Transparency Registry or be at risk of enforcement action. See the following links for guidance, reference and resource materials: the LOTR’s website on policy help, the BC government’s website for enforcement information and resources regarding interpretation, and subscribe to LOTR emails here for the most recent updates.

BC Assessment notice to potential purchasers of managed forest

There has been two aspects of tax law that have caused significant concern for some purchasers of private managed forest land: purchasers of managed forest land may be responsible for paying taxes on timber previously harvested by the vendor; and purchasers of managed forest land may be responsible for paying exit fees to the Managed Forest Council if the property is removed from managed forest class. More information on understanding Managed Forest Land Classification and Assessment, is available on BC Assessment’s website.

From Lawyers Indemnity Fund

Junior Lawyers Risk Management Conference on April 27, 2022

Don’t wait! Register now. LIF, with the assistance of CLEBC, has developed a full-day, free, virtual conference that covers what every junior lawyer needs to know about their indemnity policy, how to watch out for the latest cybercrimes targeting lawyers, lessons learned from actual LIF claim files, money laundering red flags, how to manage the most common practice risks, and more.

Find the agenda here. Earn five CPD credits and complete all of your 2022 practice management and ethics hours in one go. While the conference will be of particular interest to lawyers in their first five years of practice, any lawyer interested in refreshing an understanding of these practice concerns is more than welcome.

Reminder: GST trips and traps

“GST is a trap for the unwary. It is even a trap for the wary. I suppose creating better awareness of the issues and pitfalls is all that can be done.” – Quote from a lawyer who reported a claim to LIF in a commercial matter.

We took this lawyer's advice to heart. In this three-minute video, Marlon Song, Claims Counsel at LIF, will reveal the most common GST mistakes and our top three tips to help you stay claim-free. Additional resources can be found here: Confirming a GST/HST account number and Tax: Risks and tips.

In Case You Missed It: Avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime

Cybercriminals don’t take a vacation. They take advantage when we work remotely, with fewer staff in the office. Watch this short video of Shelley Braun, Director of Underwriting and Claims, and learn how to stay out of their cross-hairs.

Also, we strongly recommend that you review the tips found here and share the video and tips with your staff. If you suspect that you have been the victim of a cybercrime, immediately follow the reporting instructions on the LIF website. Report, even if you have escaped a loss, as the fraudster may still be lurking in your system waiting for the next opportunity to strike.


To keep up to date with Law Society news and events, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Send your comments or questions to communications@lsbc.org.