Taking Action against Illegal Practitioners

How does the Law Society try to stop illegal practitioners from placing the public at risk?

Only lawyers and paralegals licensed by the Law Society can provide legal services directly to the public. 

Illegal practitioners are people who practise law or provide legal services directly to the public without a licence. If you hire an illegal practitioner, you are not protected

The Law Society Act gives the Law Society authority to prosecute illegal practitioners. When we are made aware of an individual who may be practising illegally we may do one or more of the following:    

  • Send a cease and desist letter demanding that the person stop providing legal services they are not licensed to provide. This is often successful.
  • Conduct an investigation, especially if the person accused of illegal practice is persistent or is placing the public directly at risk.
  • Ask the person to sign an undertaking (agreement) to cease the unauthorized activity. This is a document that may be used later in court if the behaviour persists.
  • Initiate court proceedings. The Law Society has the power to seek injunctions in Superior Court. If the injunction is breached, this may result in an application to have the person found in contempt.  Contempt can be punishable by fines or imprisonment or both. The Law Society can also prosecute illegal practice in provincial court or provincial offences court. The Law Society Act provides for significant fines as well as probation orders if someone is convicted of unauthorized practice. 
Some of the Law Society's past matters  are:

2016
 
2015

Law Society of Upper Canada v. Aspasios Paul Hatzitrifonos a.k.a. Paul Hatz 
Law Society of Upper Canada v. Ken Miller 
Law Society of Upper Canada v. Raymond Young 
Law Society of Upper Canada v. Marie Yvonne Dubé

We need your help to prevent illegal practice.
If you are aware of any of these individuals continuing to engage in illegal practice, please contact the Law Society.

Learn more about protecting yourself from illegal practitioners.