Unauthorized practice


On application of the Law Society, the BC Supreme Court has ordered that Ferlin Lyndon Dorrington of Vancouver be enjoined from holding himself out as an articled student or as a lawyer or counsel or by any other name that suggests that he is licensed to practise law in British Columbia.

The Court also ordered that Mr. Dorrington be enjoined from appearing as counsel or advocate; from drawing corporate documents, wills or probate documents, documents for use in a judicial or extra-judicial proceeding or a proceeding under a statute, or documents relating to real or personal estate; from negotiating to settle a claim or demand for damages; from giving legal advice; from agreeing to place at the disposal of another person the services of a lawyer and from offering or representing that he is qualified or entitled to provide any of these services for a fee: September 30, 2004 (entered October 27, 2004).

Editor's note: Information on unauthorized practice undertakings is only published online for two years. As a result, some of this article is no longer available.


Unauthorized practice

Under the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society is responsible for ensuring that unqualified people do not illegally offer legal services or misrepresent themselves as lawyers. This responsibility exists to protect the public from a loss of rights, money or both, which are often at stake in legal matters.

The Society investigates complaints of unauthorized practice and takes the steps necessary to stop it. If the facts bear out a complaint, the Society will explain the restrictions that apply to law practice and will ask the non-lawyer to refrain from the activity. Usually this step is sufficient. When it is not, the Society has statutory authority to seek a court injunction, which may proceed by consent.

The Law Society publicizes undertakings and court actions to ensure the community understands this aspect of the Society’s mandate, and also to gain the assistance of lawyers and members of the public in recognizing new or recurring unauthorized practice.