May 8, 2024

Federation of Law Societies of Canada Statement on BC Bill 21 – Legal Professions Act

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is the national association of the 14 law societies mandated by the provinces and territories to regulate Canada’s legal profession in the public interest. It is the body through which Canada’s law societies collaborate at the national level, share information on trends and issues affecting the legal profession, and engage in collective action and decision-making.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has serious concerns about the future of independent lawyer regulation in British Columbia following the tabling on April 10 of Bill 21 – Legal Professions Act by the Government of British Columbia.

Based on a preliminary review of the proposed legislation, the Federation shares the concerns of the Law Society of British Columbia that the tabled legislation, which will create a single regulator for lawyers, notaries public and regulated paralegals, fails to adequately ensure the independence of the legal professions and their regulation, in keeping with core democratic principles.

In correspondence to the BC Attorney General earlier this year, Federation President Erin Kleisinger, KC urged the government to engage in meaningful consultation prior to finalizing its proposal for a single regulator of the BC legal professions.

“Now that the bill has been tabled, it will be important for the democratic process to play out in a way that allows robust consultation and debate on its specific provisions,” said President Kleisinger.

Addressing the significance of the proposed regulatory reform for legal regulators across Canada, President Kleisinger said, “Legislative intrusion upon the independence of the legal professions has serious national implications. The Federation will be consulting with its members as it considers a possible further response to the Bill.”

The Federation is also the law societies’ national and international voice on important issues related to the regulation and core values of the legal profession. For more information on the Federation, please visit the FLSC's web site.

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