March 2003

March 27, 2003

Rules on law firm names and letterhead under review

The Law Society's Professional Regulation Committee is reviewing the Rules of Professional Conduct governing law firm names and letterhead to determine if they should be made less restrictive and if so, what form the revised rules should take.

The Committee is seeking input from the profession on these issues and has prepared an information document that includes a series of questions related to the subject. The Committee welcomes the comments of interested members on these questions.

Please send your written comments to the Society on or before May 30, 2003 by e-mail to , by fax to 416-947-7623 or by mail to: Secretary, Professional Regulation Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs, Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

Working Group on Firm Name and Letterhead Rules of Professional Conduct Report

Task force to study small firm and sole practitioners

Convocation has unanimously approved a motion to establish of a task force to examine the ongoing survival of small law firms and sole practices.

The task force, which is to report back to Convocation by April 2004, will study and recommend the means to assure future access to legal services in smaller communities that are at risk of losing these services and to address the financial viability of small firms and sole practices. It will also include within its methodology and report, specific attention to the experience of lawyers from equality-seeking communities who are in small firms.

A budget of $200,000 has been allocated to the task force to enable it to conduct customized research and hire full-time staff support for research and writing.

According to demographic trends between 1995 and 2002 there has been a striking decline in the number of young sole practitioners. In 1995, lawyers aged 25 to 35 made up 20 per cent of all sole practitioners. In 2002 they made up only nine per cent.

Working Group on Sole Practitioners and Small Firm Task Force Report

Convocation implements rules for enhanced lawyer mobility

The Law Society of Upper Canada's governing body today approved by-laws to implement the national mobility agreement to enable lawyers to provide legal services in other provinces with very little impediment - making Ontario the first of the eight signatory jurisdictions to put such rules in place.

Last December, seven common law provinces signed this historic agreement with the expectation that each jurisdiction would then establish appropriate rules and/or by-laws to allow for implementation in each province. They are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The Barreau du Qubec also signed the agreement, though as a civil law jurisdiction, different criteria will apply.

Inter-Jurisdictional Mobility Committee Report

LAWPRO 2002 annual report

The 2002 Annual Report for LAWPRO (Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company), which in 2002 insured 18,650 lawyers, was presented for information to Convocation at its March meeting.

The financial statements were approved by the LAWPRO Board of Directors and filed with the insurance regulators on February 28, 2003, in accordance with regulatory requirements.

You can also view the annual report online by visiting the LAWPRO website .

LAWPRO 2002 annual report