E-Brief: June 2022

Discipline advisory: Fixed fee arrangements

A recent BC Court of Appeal decision has affirmed a Law Society Tribunal decision that funds received by a lawyer pursuant to fixed or flat fee arrangement for services to be performed were trust funds and should not have been deposited to a general account. Where you have received a fixed or flat fee and have not completed the services for the client, the funds must be deposited into a trust account as soon as practicable and are to be held in trust until the services have been provided, unless there is an express agreement with the client. Further information about handling funds accepted under a fixed or flat fee is available in this discipline advisory.

Articling offers by downtown Vancouver firms to stay open until August 19

All offers of articling positions made in 2022 by law firms with offices in downtown Vancouver must remain open until 8 am on Friday, August 19, 2022. Downtown Vancouver is defined as the area in the city of Vancouver west of Carrall Street and north of False Creek. Set by the Credentials Committee under Rule 2-58, the deadline applies to offers made to both first- and second-year law students. The deadline does not affect offers made to third-year law students or offers of summer positions (temporary articles). For more information, read the web highlight.

Update on single legal regulator

Earlier this year, Attorney General David Eby, QC signalled his ministry’s intention to introduce changes to the existing regulatory framework for lawyers, notaries and independent paralegals to better protect people accessing legal services and help improve access. The ministry is seeking information from the Law Society, the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia and representatives of the paralegal profession about the elements of the framework. We understand that the ministry intends to solicit feedback on an intentions paper to be issued this summer. The Law Society has and will continue to advocate that the framework must maintain lawyer independence, respect reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and clarify the duty to protect the public.

Consultation regarding articling compensation and hours of work

The Law Society is seeking input regarding the development of standards for compensation and work hours for licensing candidates during their articles. A previous survey of candidates and law firms showed that, while some candidates have positive articling experiences, others report being unpaid or underpaid and required to work extensive hours. The Law Society has produced a consultation paper and invites you to share your perspective on ways to ensure that any new rules will enhance the quality and availability of articling opportunities. Comments should be emailed to Consultation@lsbc.org by 5 pm on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

National Indigenous History Month

June is a month to commemorate the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. One of the ways to learn more about Indigenous history and culture is through the Indigenous Intercultural Course that the Law Society developed and launched in January. The course offers an introduction to Indigenous legal orders and legal traditions, the evolution of the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples in British Columbia and Canada – including the history and impact of colonial laws – as well as the resilience and successes of Indigenous peoples. If you have not already done so, you may access the course with the log in credentials provided to you by email or by clicking the “Go to Brightspace” button in the Member Portal. You can also find out more about the course by reviewing the IIC FAQ.

Save the date: “War Crimes and the Role of the International Criminal Court” featuring ICC Justice Kimberly Prost

On Thursday, August 11, 2022, the Law Society will host Justice Kimberly Prost as part of its Rule of Law Lecture series. Justice Prost was elected to a nine-year term on the International Criminal Court in December 2017 and previously served as a judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. For her lecture, she will draw from her extensive international criminal law experience to discuss war crimes and the role of the ICC. The event will be held on the evening of Thursday, August 11, 2022 from 6 to 8 pm at the UBC Robson Square theatre, with light refreshments served. Seating is limited. To RSVP, email policy@lsbc.org.

2021 audited financial statements

The Law Society’s audited financial statements for 2021 are now available on the website.

Annual General Meeting: Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Second Notice of the Annual General Meeting was sent out on Friday, June 3 and contained the business of the meeting, along with information regarding advance voting and registration for the meeting. More information about the AGM is available on our website.

In-person presentation of the 2020 Law Society Award to Leonard Doust, QC

Join the Law Society for an in-person presentation of the 2020 Law Society Award to Leonard Doust, QC at the 36th annual Bench and Bar Dinner on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Renowned for his fearless advocacy, kind and generous mentorship, and for authoring his pivotal Public Commission on Legal Aid, Doust was recognized in 2020 for his extraordinary career and contributions, but in-person celebration had to be postponed due to pandemic response requirements. Further information about the Bench and Bar Dinner is available on the website.

Call for QC nominations

Nominations for Queen's Counsel appointments are being accepted until 4:30 pm on Friday, July 15. For more information on eligibility requirements, the nomination process and online applications, visit the Ministry of Attorney General's website.

From Lawyers Indemnity Fund

In case you missed it: Common conflict of interest missteps

Every year lawyers report claims alleging that they acted in a conflict of interest. The circumstances range from acting for a closely held corporation and its principals, to acting for both spouses in a family matter, different family members with respect to a family loan, or multiple parties in litigation.

Take three minutes to watch this video to learn about common conflict missteps and our tips to avoid them.

Reminder: Don’t wait to file land owner transparency reports

The deadline for the pre-existing “reporting bodies” to file a transparency report with the Land Owner Transparency Registry (LOTR) is approaching. After a previous extension the new deadline is November 30, 2022, but avoid delay and act now. Lawyers who act for a relevant corporation, a trustee of a relevant trust, or a relevant partnership which acquired an "interest in land" prior to November 30, 2020, and continue to own an interest, should keep in mind that a transparency report can take some time to complete. Wherever possible, have your client execute the report rather than you.

Also take note that the earlier extension does not change the current obligation to file a transparency declaration by a transferee applying to register an interest in land and, if a transferee is a “reporting body,” to also file a transparency report.

For information about the offences and fines for a reporting body’s failure to file a transparency report see Disclosure by existing landowners. Visit the LOTR’s web page on policy help, the government’s web page for enforcement information and resources regarding interpretation, and subscribe here to receive emails with the most recent updates.


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