By-Law 14 states that no person shall give legal advice in Ontario respecting the law of a foreign jurisdiction except in accordance with the provisions of the By-Law. By-Law 14 requires lawyers licensed outside of Canada to apply to the Law Society for a permit to give legal advice in Ontario respecting the law of a foreign jurisdiction. Applicants must meet the conditions outlined in the By-Law to qualify for a permit and must apply annually to the Law Society to renew their permit.
Ontario lawyers and licensed paralegals in good standing who are authorized to practise law in a foreign jurisdiction must apply for a Foreign Legal Consultant (FLC) permit if they want to provide legal advice in Ontario respecting the law of the foreign jurisdiction. Ontario lawyers and licensed paralegals may also employ, partner, or associate with FLCs provided this is done in compliance with the Law Society Act, the Law Society's By-Laws, the Rules of Professional Conduct or the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, and any other applicable legislation.
Who can apply
- A person who is authorized to practise law in a foreign jurisdiction, which has provisions respecting the giving of legal advice by an Ontario licensee in that jurisdiction respecting the law of Ontario or Canada that are reasonably comparable to Ontario’s provisions for FLCs
- The applicant is not the subject of any order made against him or her by a tribunal of any governing body of the legal profession in the foreign jurisdiction in which he or she is authorized to practise law
- The applicant has no terms, conditions, limitations or restrictions imposed on his or her authorization to practise law in the foreign jurisdiction
- The applicant is of good character
A supervisor may be required depending on the applicant’s experience. If approved, FLCs may only provide legal advice in Ontario respecting the law a foreign jurisdiction where they are authorized to practise law. A Foreign Legal Consultant Permit does not entitle someone to provide legal advice or services about the law of Ontario or Canada.
Applicants must submit the following:
- An original application for Permit as a Foreign Legal Consultant and a non-refundable application fee
- Proof of professional liability insurance for the giving of legal advice in Ontario respecting the law of the foreign jurisdiction which is at least equivalent to that required of a licensee who holds a Class L1 licence for the licensee’s practice of law in Ontario
- Proof of reciprocity from the relevant jurisdiction(s)
- A Certificate of Standing (dated within the last 30 days) from each jurisdiction where the applicant is or has been a member to be submitted by the regulatory body directly to Complaints & Compliance
- A certified copy of a government issued photo ID (not applicable if applicants are also licensees of the Law Society of Upper Canada)
- A copy of the applicant's curriculum vitae (resume)
- Additional undertakings and documents, as required
NOTE: Any documents that are not in English or French must be translated by an Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) Certified Translator. You may wish to refer to ATIO's Directory of Certified Translators on its website at www.atio.on.ca.
- A permit is valid for one year after the day on which it comes into effect
- Before the expiry of the permit, the permit holder may apply for its renewal
- Renewal applications should be submitted to the Law Society no later than 30 days before the expiry date of the permit to ensure that you remain authorized as an FLC
- FLCs must notify the Law Society immediately of any change to the information provided to the Law Society including any change in employment
Note: If an approved FLC ceases to be authorized to practise law at any time in the foreign jurisdiction for which a permit was issued, the FLC permit is automatically revoked pursuant to section 8 of By-Law 14.
Partnering with Licensees
When a foreign legal consultant and a licensee intend to enter into a partnership, the conditions in subsection 18(2) of By-Law 7 must be satisfied. Refer to the following link for information about Multi-Discipline Partnerships.
All applications and attachments are reviewed by Complaints & Compliance. If the review reveals that the application cannot be approved, Law Society staff will contact the applicant to request additional information or to advise of necessary changes.
Complaints & Compliance requires a minimum of 30 business days to process an FLC permit application or an FLC permit renewal application, if they are complete. A permit will be issued upon approval.
Non-refundable Administrative Fees
A non-refundable application fee in the amount of $500 (CAD) + HST must be submitted along with the Application for Permit as a Foreign Legal Consultant.
A non-refundable annual renewal fee in the amount of $250 (CAD) + HST must be submitted along with the annual Application to Renew a Foreign Legal Consultant Permit.
Links to Applications and Additional Documents
Annual Renewal Application
All questions about FLC applications should be directed to the Complaints & Compliance department by contacting the Resource Centre at (416) 947-3315 (toll-free 1-800-668-7380 x3315) and asking to be transferred, or e-mailing Complaints & Compliance using the Contact Page.
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