Unauthorized practice of law

The Law Society routinely investigates allegations of unauthorized legal practice. The Legal Profession Act restricts the practice of law to qualified lawyers in order to protect consumers from unqualified and unregulated legal services providers.

Anyone with questions regarding the right of a person who is not a member of the Law Society to provide legal services should contact the Society at 604-669-2533 or 1-800-903-5300.

The Law Society has obtained court orders and consent orders prohibiting the following individuals and businesses from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

Dwayne Eric Hunte of New Westminster (doing business as DH & Associates) has been found to have falsely represented himself as a lawyer. Hunte operated a website offering various legal services and representing that DH & Associates had “170+” associates “across the country.” In August 2009, Hunte offered and provided legal services for a fee in relation to a claim against a landlord. Hunte has been ordered by the Supreme Court to stop providing legal services and suggesting in any way that he is a lawyer. He has also been ordered to pay costs.

Scott D. Petrie of New Westminster has been prohibited from providing legal services after several advertisements appeared on craigslist.org. The court found Petrie provided legal services in a family law matter. Petrie has been ordered not to suggest in any way that he is qualified or entitled to do so. He has been ordered to pay costs.

Joe Wan of JW Corporate Services Inc. has consented to an order prohibiting his firm from preparing incorporation documents contrary to the Legal Profession Act. Wan has agreed to pay costs of $270.

From December 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010, the Law Society obtained undertakings from eight individuals and businesses not to engage in the practice of law. The most common breach of the Legal Profession Act is non-lawyers preparing incorporation documents for a fee.