Chapter 14, Rule 10 of Professional Conduct Handbook

Broader range of non-lawyer staff can be reflected in marketing materials

Law firm business cards, letterhead and other marketing materials can feature any of the firm's non-lawyer employees, provided their status as non-lawyers is clear.

Lawyers can now list on letterhead or in any other marketing activity a broader range of their law firm staff, provided it is clear they cannot practise law. This gives firms greater flexibility, while ensuring the public is not misled as to who is or is not a lawyer in the firm, or as to who can practise law.

Chapter 14, Rule 10 of the Professional Conduct Handbook previously allowed lawyers to list on marketing materials only specified employees - retired and non-practising members, articled students, legal assistants, registered patent agents and practitioners of foreign law - thereby precluding others, such as accountants, technology staff, marketing staff or business managers.

Since the rule was unnecessarily restrictive and inconsistent with the way in which firms carry on business, it has been revised. The rule, included in the enclosed Member's Manual amendment package, now reads:

A lawyer must not list a person not entitled to practise law in British Columbia on any letterhead or in any other marketing activity without making it clear in the marketing activity that the person is not entitled to practise law in British Columbia.

In particular, a person who fits one or more of the following descriptions must not be listed without an appropriate indication of the person's status:

(a) a retired member,

(a.1) a non-practising member,

(b) a deceased member,

(c) an articled student,

(d) a legal assistant,

(e) a patent agent, if registered as such under the Trade-marks Act, or

(f) a practitioner of foreign law, if that person holds a valid permit issued under Law Society Rule 2-18.