Unauthorized practice actions
On application of the Law Society and by consent, the BC Supreme Court has ordered that Art Thornhill, of Vancouver, and his company Art Thornhill & Associates, be permanently enjoined from drawing corporate 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 and from offering or representing that they are qualified or entitled to provide any of these services for a fee: June 21, 2004 (entered June 22, 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.|
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.