E-Brief: September 2021

Observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

A reminder that the Law Society is observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by closing its offices on September 30 and encouraging Law Society staff and members of the legal profession to reflect on the tragic and ongoing legacy of residential schools. Earlier this week, the Law Society made its Indigenous intercultural course available to the profession and invites lawyers who wish to preview the course to email Indigenous@lsbc.org for further information, including details on how to access the online learning platform that hosts the course.

2022 annual practice and indemnity fees

The Benchers have set the 2022 annual practice and indemnity fees at the same levels as 2020. The total fees for a full-time lawyer continue to be $4,089 for a third consecutive year. The ability to maintain fees at the same level is due largely to the implementation of prudent fiscal measures in response to the pandemic, as well as a higher than expected number of lawyers who joined or remained in the profession throughout the past year. More information about the 2022 fees is available here.

Law Society annual general meeting

The annual general meeting will be held via videoconference on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 starting at 12:30 pm (PDT). Advance online voting on the AGM resolutions is available through the Member Portal until 5 pm on October 4, 2021. Voter credentials and instructions on how to access the voting site were sent to all eligible voters on September 20, 2021 and are available in the Member Portal. If you are planning to attend the virtual meeting, you must register in the Member Portal by 5 pm on October 4, 2021. For more information, see the Notice to the Profession, September 17, 2021.

2021 Bencher election: call for nominations

Nominations of candidates in the upcoming Bencher general election close at 5 pm on Friday, October 15, 2021. Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Bencher election page on the Law Society website and nomination forms should be emailed to BencherRelations@lsbc.org. For more information, see the Notice to the Profession.

Indigenous Engagement in Regulatory Matters Task Force terms of reference and work plan

Earlier this year, the Benchers established the Indigenous Engagement in Regulatory Matters Task Force to review the Law Society’s current rules and processes in order to identify and make recommendations for addressing any systemic barriers for Indigenous individuals. The Benchers have adopted terms of reference and a work plan the task force proposed following consultation with the Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee. Read the terms of reference and work plan.

Law Society recognition awards: Nominations open until 5 pm on October 4, 2021

Nominations for candidates for five recognition awards are open until 5 pm on October 4, 2021. The five awards recognize exceptional achievement and service to the public and the profession: the Excellence in Family Law Award; the Award for Leadership in Legal Aid; the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award; the Pro Bono Award; and the Mark Andrews Excellence in Litigation Award. The recipients will be awarded at the Law Society’s Recognition Dinner taking place on Friday, December 3, 2021. For criteria, nomination instructions and further information visit our website.

Video recordings from Mental Health Forum 2021 now available

For those who missed the Mental Health Forum on September 14 and would like to see the presentations, video recordings have now been posted to Continuing Legal Education BC’s website.

2020 Annual Report and financial statements now available

The Law Society's 2020 Annual Report and 2020 audited financial statements are now available. Our Annual Report provides a progress update on our 2018-2020 Strategic Plan as well as key performance indicators. It also provides membership statistics illustrating trends that may influence the delivery of legal services in the future. The Annual Report is a critical part of our regulatory transparency, informing the public, government, the media and the legal community about how we are meeting our regulatory obligations.

From Lawyers Indemnity Fund

In case you missed it: Disclosure by existing landowners required by November 30, 2021

As of November 30 last year, any transferee applying to register an interest in land must file a transparency declaration with the Land Owner Transparency Registry (LOTR). Each transferee that is a “reporting body” as defined by the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA) must also file a transparency report with the LOTR. In addition, existing “reporting bodies” that hold an interest in land (acquired prior to November 30, 2020) are required to file a transparency report with the LOTR by November 30, 2021.

Failure to file a transparency report is deemed to be an offence under the LOTA and could trigger a significant fine, the greater of: (i) $25,000 for individuals or $50,000 for corporations or other entities; and (ii) 15 per cent of the assessed value of the property. See section 92 and section 61 of the LOTA. It is also an offence and could trigger significant fines if “false or misleading information” is contained in the transparency report. Wherever possible have your client execute the transparency report rather than you. 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.