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Compliance-Based Entity Regulation


May 2018 Up-date: Practice Assessment

The Compliance-Based Entity Regulation task force has developed a draft practice assessment tool based on six practice management principles:

  1. client management
  2. matter management
  3. financial management and sustainability
  4. people management
  5. access to justice
  6. equality, diversity and inclusion.

The Task-Force is planning a series of focus groups with a cross-section of lawyers in the fall of 2018 to help assess the usefulness of the practice assessment, how it might be implemented, and to what firm sizes it best applies

The Task Force will review and consider all of the feedback from the focus groups before determining next steps, which may include revision of the Practice Assessment and further consultation. 

In the event that the decision is made to proceed with this initiative, an equivalent practice assessment will be developed for paralegals. See the report to May Convocation for more information and the Consultation paper

Promoting better legal practices through proactive regulation

Compliance-based regulation emphasizes a proactive approach in which the regulator identifies practice management principles and establishes goals and expectations. Lawyers and paralegals report on their compliance with these expectations, and have autonomy in deciding how to meet them.

Entity regulation refers to the regulation of the entity through which lawyers and paralegals provide services. Entity regulation recognizes that many professional decisions that were once made by an individual lawyer or paralegal are increasingly determined by firm policies and procedures.

Proactive regulation may serve the public interest by helping lawyers and paralegals improve their practice standards and client service.

Task Force on Compliance-Based Entity Regulation - Background

The Law Society’s Task Force on Compliance-Based Entity Regulation was formed in June 2015 to consider this form of proactive regulation.

In May 2016, Convocation approved the Task Force’s report, which recommended the development of detailed options for a compliance-based regulatory framework.

Convocation also approved the Task Force’s recommendation to seek authority to regulate entities through amendments to the Law Society Act.

The recommendations are based on the Task Force’s study of the experience in other jurisdictions, its review of related research and comments received from individuals and legal organizations in response to a call for input.

Law Society Reports

Additional information

Informational webcast

View an archived version of the informational webcast offered by the Law Society on Feb. 8, 2016 to provide lawyers and paralegals with an opportunity to learn more about compliance-based entity regulation.

Download the webcast slides.

Initiatives at other Law Societies

Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society

Law Society of British Columbia

Law Societies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba