Chapter 1 – Interpretation and Definitions – annotated


1.1       Definitions

1.1-1    In this Code, unless the context indicates otherwise,

“associate” includes:

(a)     a lawyer who practises law in a law firm through an employment or other contractual relationship; and

(b)     a non-lawyer employee of a multi-discipline practice providing services that support or supplement the practice of law;

“client” means a person who:

(a)     consults a lawyer and on whose behalf the lawyer renders or agrees to render legal services; or

(b)     having consulted the lawyer, reasonably concludes that the lawyer has agreed to render legal services on his or her behalf.


[1]  A lawyer-client relationship may be established without formality.

[2]  When an individual consults a lawyer in a representative capacity, the client is the corporation, partnership, organization, or other legal entity that the individual is representing;

[3]  For greater clarity, a client does not include a near-client, such as an affiliated entity, director, shareholder, employee or family member, unless there is objective evidence to demonstrate that such an individual had a reasonable expectation that a lawyer-client relationship would be established.

conflict of interest” means the existence of a substantial risk that a lawyer’s loyalty to or representation of a client would be materially and adversely affected by the lawyer’s own interest or the lawyer’s duties to another client, a former client, or a third person.

“consent” means fully informed and voluntary consent after disclosure

(a)     in writing, provided that, if more than one person consents, each signs the same or a separate document recording the consent; or

(b)     orally, provided that each person consenting receives a separate written communication recording the consent as soon as practicable;

“disclosure” means full and fair disclosure of all information relevant to a person’s decision (including, where applicable, those matters referred to in commentary in this Code), in sufficient time for the person to make a genuine and independent decision, and the taking of reasonable steps to ensure understanding of the matters disclosed;

“interprovincial law firm” means a law firm that carries on the practice of law in more than one province or territory of Canada;

“law firm” includes one or more lawyers practising:

(a)     in a sole proprietorship;

(b)     in a partnership;

(c)     as a clinic under the [provincial or territorial Act governing legal aid];

(d)     in a government, a Crown corporation or any other public body; or

(e)     in a corporation or other organization;

“lawyer” means a member of the Society and includes a law student enrolled in the Law Society Admission Program;

“limited scope retainer” means the provision of legal services for part, but not all, of a client’s legal matter by agreement with the client;

“Society” means the Law Society of British Columbia;

“tribunal” includes a court, board, arbitrator, mediator, administrative agency or other body that resolves disputes, regardless of its function or the informality of its procedures.

["limited scope retainer" added 09/2013]