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Part 2 out of 11 parts in the Legal Profession Act

 

PART 2 –
MEMBERSHIP AND AUTHORITY TO PRACTISE LAW

Division 1 – Practice of Law

Members

14 (1) The benchers may make rules to do any of the following:

(a) establish categories of members;

(b) determine the rights and privileges associated with categories of members;

(c) set the annual fee for categories of members other than practising lawyers;

(d) determine whether or not a person is a member in good standing of the society.

(2) A member in good standing of the society is an officer of all courts of British Columbia.

(3) A practising lawyer is entitled to use the style and title of "Notary Public in and for the Province of British Columbia," and has and may exercise all the powers, rights, duties and privileges of the office of notary public


Authority to practise law

15 (1) No person, other than a practising lawyer, is permitted to engage in the practice of law, except

(a) a person who is an individual party to a proceeding acting without counsel solely on his or her own behalf,

(b) as permitted by the Court Agent Act,

(c) an articled student, to the extent permitted by the benchers,

(d) an individual or articled student referred to in section 12 of the Legal Services Society Act, to the extent permitted under that Act,

(e) a lawyer of another jurisdiction permitted to practise law in British Columbia under section 16 (2) (a), to the extent permitted under that section,

(f) a practitioner of foreign law holding a permit under section 17 (1) (a), to the extent permitted under that section, and

(g) a lawyer who is not a practising lawyer to the extent permitted under the rules.

(2) A person who is employed by a practising lawyer, a law firm, a law corporation or the government and who acts under the supervision of a practising lawyer does not contravene subsection (1).

(3) A person must not do any act described in paragraphs (a) to (g) of the definition of "practice of law" in section 1 (1), even though the act is not performed for or in the expectation of a fee, gain or reward, direct or indirect, from the person for whom the acts are performed, if

(a) the person is a member or former member of the society who is suspended or has been disbarred, or who, as a result of disciplinary proceedings, has resigned from membership in the society or otherwise ceased to be a member as a result of disciplinary proceedings, or

(b) the person is suspended or prohibited for disciplinary reasons from practising law in another jurisdiction.

(4) A person must not falsely represent himself, herself or any other person as being

(a) a lawyer,

(b) an articled student, a student-at-law or a law clerk, or

(c) a person referred to in subsection (1) (e) or (f).

(5) Except as permitted in subsection (1), a person must not commence, prosecute or defend a proceeding in any court.

(6) The benchers may make rules prohibiting lawyers from facilitating or participating in the practice of law by persons who are not authorized to practise law.

[2002-30-29; 2012-16-8]


Interprovincial practice

16 (1) In this section, "governing body" means the governing body of the legal profession in another province or a territory of Canada.

(2) The benchers may permit qualified lawyers of other Canadian jurisdictions to practise law in British Columbia and may promote cooperation with the governing bodies of the legal profession in other Canadian jurisdictions by doing one or more of the following:

(a) permitting a lawyer or class of lawyers of another province or a territory of Canada to practise law in British Columbia;

(b) attaching conditions or limitations to a permission granted under paragraph (a);

(c) submitting disputes concerning the interjurisdictional practice of law to an independent adjudicator under an arbitration program established by agreement with one or more governing bodies;

(d) participating with one or more governing bodies in establishing and operating a fund to compensate members of the public for misappropriation or wrongful conversion by lawyers practising outside their home jurisdictions;

(e) making rules

(i) establishing conditions under which permission may be granted under paragraph (a), including payment of a fee,

(ii) respecting the enforcement of a fine imposed by a governing body, and

(iii) allowing release of information about a lawyer to a governing body, including information about practice restrictions, complaints, competency and discipline.

(3) Parts 3 to 8 and 10 apply to a lawyer or class of lawyers given permission under this section.


Practitioners of foreign law

17 (1) The benchers may do any or all of the following:

(a) permit a person holding professional legal qualifications obtained in a country other than Canada to practise law in British Columbia;

(b) attach conditions or limitations to a permission granted under paragraph (a);

(c) make rules establishing conditions or limitations under which permission may be granted under paragraph (a), including payment of a fee.

(2) Parts 3 to 8 and 10 apply to a person given permission under this section.

[2012-16-9]


Association with non-resident lawyers or law firms

18 The benchers may make rules concerning the association of members of the society or law firms in British Columbia with lawyers or law firms in other jurisdictions.

[2012-16-10]


Division 2 – Admission and Reinstatement


Applications for enrolment, call and admission, or reinstatement

19 (1) No person may be enrolled as an articled student, called and admitted or reinstated as a member unless the benchers are satisfied that the person is of good character and repute and is fit to become a barrister and a solicitor of the Supreme Court.

(2) On receiving an application for enrolment, call and admission or reinstatement, the benchers may

(a) grant the application,

(b) grant the application subject to any conditions or limitations to which the applicant consents in writing, or

(c) order a hearing.

(3) If an applicant for reinstatement is a person referred to in section 15 (3) (a) or (b), the benchers must order a hearing.

(4) A hearing may be ordered, commenced or completed despite the applicant's withdrawal of the application.

(5) The benchers may vary conditions or limitations made under subsection (2) (b) if the applicant consents in writing to the variation.

[2016-5-41]


Articled students

20 (1) The benchers may make rules to do any of the following:

(a) establish requirements, including academic requirements, and procedures for enrolment of articled students;

(b) set fees for enrolment;

(c) establish requirements for lawyers to serve as principals to articled students;

(d) limit the number of articled students who may be articled to a principal;

(e) stipulate the duties of principals and articled students;

(f) permit the investigation and consideration of the fitness of a lawyer to act as a principal to an articled student.

(2) The benchers may establish and maintain an educational program for articled students.

[2016-5-41]


Admission, reinstatement and requalification

21 (1) The benchers may make rules to do any of the following:

(a) establish a credentials committee and delegate any or all authority and responsibility under this Part, other than rule-making authority, to that committee;

(b) establish requirements, including academic requirements, and procedures for call to the Bar of British Columbia and admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court;

(c) set a fee for call and admission;

(d) establish requirements and procedures for the reinstatement of former members of the society;

(e) set a fee for reinstatement;

(f) establish conditions under which a member in good standing of the society who is not permitted to practise law, may apply to become a practising lawyer.

(2) The fee set under subsection (1) (c) must not exceed 1/6 of the practice fee set under section 23 (1) (a).

(3) The benchers may impose conditions or limitations on the practice of a lawyer who, for a cumulative period of 3 years of the 5 years preceding the imposition of the conditions, has not engaged in the practice of law.

[2012-16-11]

Prohibition on resignation from membership

21.1 (1) A lawyer may not resign from membership in the society without the consent of the benchers if the lawyer is the subject of

(a) a citation or other discipline process under Part 4,

(b) an investigation under this Act, or

(c) a practice review under the rules.

(2) In granting consent under subsection (1), the benchers may impose conditions. 

[2012-16-12]


Credentials hearings

22 (1) This section applies to a hearing ordered under section 19 (2) (c).

(2) A hearing must be conducted before a panel.

(3) Following a hearing, the panel must do one of the following:

(a) grant the application;

(b) grant the application subject to conditions or limitations that the panel considers appropriate;

(c) reject the application.

(4) If an application is rejected,

(a) the panel must, on the written request of the applicant, give written reasons for its decision, and

(b) the applicant must not be enrolled as an articled student, called and admitted or reinstated as a member.

(5) On application, the benchers may vary or remove conditions or limitations imposed by a panel under this section.

(6) The benchers may make rules requiring payment of security for costs of a hearing.


Division 3 – Fees and Assessments


Annual fees and practising certificate

23 (1) A practising lawyer must pay to the society an annual fee consisting of

(a) a practice fee in an amount set by the benchers, and

(b) [Repealed]

(c) an insurance fee set under section 30 (3) (a), unless exempted from payment of the insurance fee under section 30 (4) (b).

(2) The benchers may waive payment of all or part of the annual fee or a special assessment for a lawyer whom they wish to honour.

(3) A lawyer who is suspended under section 38 (5) (d) or the rules made under section 25 (2), 32 (2) (b), 36 (h) or 39 (1) (a) must pay the annual fee or special assessment when it is due in order to remain a member of the society.

(4) The executive director must issue to each practising lawyer a practising certificate on payment of the annual fee, if the lawyer is otherwise in good standing and has complied with this Act and the rules.

(5) A certificate purporting to contain the signature of the executive director stating that a person is, or was at the time specified in the certificate, a member in good standing of the society is proof of that fact, in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

(6) A lawyer who is suspended or who, for any other reason, ceases to be a member in good standing of the society must immediately surrender to the executive director his or her practising certificate and any proof of professional liability insurance issued by the society.

(7) The benchers may make rules to do any of the following:

(a) set the date by which the annual fee is payable, subject to rules made under section 30 (4) (a);

(b) permit late payment of the annual fee or a special assessment;

(c) set a fee for late payment of fees and assessments;

(d) determine the circumstances in which a full or partial refund of a fee or assessment may be made;

(e) deem a lawyer to have been a practising lawyer during a period in which the lawyer was in default of payment of fees or an assessment on conditions that the benchers consider appropriate.

[2012-16-13]


Fees and assessments

24 (1) The benchers may

(a) set fees, and

(b) set special assessments to be paid by lawyers and applicants for the purposes of the society and set the date by which they must be paid.

(c) [Repealed]

(2) [Repealed]

(3) If the benchers set a special assessment for a stated purpose and do not require all of the money collected for that stated purpose, they must return the excess to the members.

(4) On or before the date established by the benchers, each lawyer and applicant must pay to the society any special assessments set under subsection (1) (b), unless the benchers otherwise direct.

[2012-16-14]


Failure to pay fee or penalty

25 (1) If a lawyer fails to pay the annual fee or a special assessment as required under this Act by the time that it is required to be paid, the lawyer ceases to be a member, unless the benchers otherwise direct, subject to rules made under section 23 (7).

(2) The benchers may make rules providing for the suspension of a lawyer who fails to pay a fine, costs or a penalty by the time payment is required.

[2007-14-145]


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Part 2 out of 11 parts in the Legal Profession Act