The practice of law and the public’s demands for legal services are changing. Driven in part by new technologies, new business models and access to justice concerns, delivery and regulation of legal services has begun evolving around the world. We have been watching significant regulatory changes in Australia, England and Wales over the last ten years. These ideas have caught on in Canada, as is reflected in the recommendations of the Canadian Bar Association’s recent Futures Report. To keep up with these changes, the Law Society must also rethink its regulation of the profession.
The Law Societies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are trying to stay ahead of this wave. In particular, we are examining a spectrum of regulatory tools that includes entity regulation, compliance-based regulation and alternative business structures to determine which, if any, might be effective in our jurisdictions. A discussion paper co-authored by representatives of each of these law societies represents an early step in both understanding and assessing the regulatory options available.
These new approaches to regulation do not necessarily mean more regulation, but a different approach to regulation that is more proactive. They can also mean increased flexibility and opportunity for the profession in the delivery of legal services. That’s why we want your input. The next step in examining these issues is a consultation with the profession in early 2016. In the meantime, we hope this paper will provide some background information to inform the consultation process. Please follow the links below to read the paper and accompanying abstract.
In collaboration with the Law Societies of Alberta and Manitoba, the Law Society of Saskatchewan consulted with Saskatchewan lawyers on the regulation of legal organizations (entities). The consultation focused on an approach where legal organizations would be told what outcomes are expected of them, but not how to deliver them, providing the organization with the flexibility and autonomy to achieve the required outcomes. Consultation closed on June 30, 2016 and the Prairie Law Societies have produced a report summarizing the results. Please follow the links below to view the report and accompanying Appendix.
Further updates on the project will be posted to this site as they become available.