Mobility within Canada

Federation of Law Societies National Mobility Agreement (all provinces except Quebec)

Under the national mobility regime, a BC lawyer who is eligible to practise temporarily (up to 100 days in a calendar year) in another reciprocating jurisdiction must carry professional liability insurance that is

  1. reasonably comparable in coverage and limits to that required by the reciprocating jurisdiction and
  2. extends to the lawyer's practice in the reciprocating jurisdiction.

Part A (negligence) of the Law Society’s professional liability insurance policy satisfies both of these requirements for any lawyer entitled to practise on a temporary basis. Part B (theft) of the policy satisfies a further requirement that a lawyer have defalcation coverage from a Canadian governing body that extends to the lawyer’s practice in the reciprocating jurisdiction.

In addition, although lawyers who are members of more than one Canadian law society have always been entitled to claim an exemption from the requirement to pay the insurance fee in BC in certain circumstances, there is now an exemption tailored specifically for lawyers who are members of more than one reciprocating law society.

A BC lawyer is entitled to the exemption if you are a member of a law society in a reciprocating province, are entitled to practise law in that province, maintain ongoing liability insurance in that province and are resident there. "Resident" has the meaning, with respect to a province, that it has under the Income Tax Act (Canada). In that case, the reciprocating law society's policy will extend to your practice in BC.

National Mobility Agreement in effect July 1 in the May-June, 2003 Benchers' Bulletin
BC lawyers' compulsory insurance under national mobility, July-August, 2003 Benchers' Bulletin
Part 2 of the Law Society Rules, which governs inter-jurisdictional practice in BC
Temporary Practice in BC
Mobility: Managing the Risk

All of the provinces except Quebec are reciprocating jurisdictions for the purposes of temporary mobility (for temporary mobility in the territories, see below).

All of the provinces except Quebec and territories except Nunavut are reciprocating jurisdictions for the purposes of claiming an exemption.

Quebec Mobility Agreement

Pursuant to the Quebec mobility agreement, BC lawyers may become Canadian legal advisors in Quebec. Those lawyers will continue to participate in the professional liability insurance program, and BC’s policy will extend to their practice in Quebec. For more information, May 2010 E-Brief.

The Territories

A BC lawyer wishing to practise temporarily in a territory will need to contact that territory’s law society. Provided the temporary practice is in compliance with that law society’s rules, Part A (negligence) of the Law Society’s professional liability insurance policy, with limits of $1 million for each error ($2 million in the aggregate), will extend to the temporary practice.