TAG Treasurer s Advisory Group on Access to Justice begins with success New video highlights value of Certified Specialist Program

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1 Spring 2013 Volume 17, No. 1 / Printemps 2013 Volume 17, n o 1 Published by The Law Society of Upper Canada / Publiée par le Barreau du Haut-Canada FOCUS The changing legal profession: anticipating the future TAG Treasurer s Advisory Group on Access to Justice begins with success New video highlights value of Certified Specialist Program Solo and Small Firm Conference & Expo Public Legal Education The Promise of Technology, the Merit of Simplicity Tour d horizon Tendances dans la pratique du droit John D. Honsberger, O.Ont., Q.C., LSM Founding editor of the Law Society Gazette recognized

2 Notice ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of The Law Society of Upper Canada will be held at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 beginning at 5:15 in the afternoon. All members of the Society are invited to attend. Osgoode Hall February 22, 2013 James Varro Secretary Avis Assemblée générale annuelle La prochaine assemblée générale annuelle du Barreau du Haut-Canada se tiendra à Osgoode Hall, 130, rue Queen Ouest, à Toronto le mercredi 8 mai 2013 à 17 h 15. Tous les membres du Barreau sont invités à y assister. Osgoode Hall Le 22 février 2013 James Varro Secrétaire

3 SPRING 2013 Vol. 17, No. 1 PRINTEMPS 2013 Vol. 17, n o 1 The Gazette (ISSN ) is published by The Law Society of Upper Canada, the licensing and regulatory body governing the legal profession in Ontario. Articles appearing in the Gazette do not necessarily represent Law Society policy. Direct all editorial enquiries and correspondence to: Gazette The Law Society of Upper Canada Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M5H 2N6 tel: (416) fax: (416) La Gazette (ISSN ) est publiée par le Barreau du Haut-Canada, corps dirigeant de la profession juridique en Ontario. Les articles publiés dans la Gazette ne représentent pas nécessairement la position officielle du Barreau. Pour communiquer avec nous, s adresser à : La Gazette Barreau du Haut-Canada Treasurer Thomas G. Conway Chief Executive Officer Robert G.W. Lapper, Q.C. Director, communications & Editor-in-chief Roy Thomas managing editor Lisa Hall production editor Debbie Innes Design & ART Production Barbara Bailey contributors Ayumi Bailly Filippo Conte Christopher Guly Sally Hewson Robyn Rucchin King Denise McCourtie Katie Rook Susan Tonkin Aaron Wrixon French Language Contributor Collaboratrice de langue franç aise Geneviève Proulx photography Tim Fraser Della Rollins cover Spark Studio/Imagezoo/Getty Images The changing legal profession: anticipating the future, page 4 Contents Family law website delivers helpful guidance in plain language, page 14 2 TREASURER S Q & A Entretien avec le trésorier Retention programs to include paralegals, page 19 4 FOCUS The changing legal profession: anticipating the future 11 news Law Society calls for proposals for new Law Practice Program 11 national competency profile for lawyers approved 11 TAG: Treasurer s Advisory Group on Access to Justice begins with success YOUR PRACTICE Real Estate Declaration introduced for Lawyer Annual Report 13 important Reminder: Late fee policy in effect 13 Family law website delivers helpful guidance in plain language 14 CPD: make a plan 15 new video highlights value of Certified Specialist Program 16 Peer volunteers needed for Member Assistance Program 16 Don t miss this year s Solo and Small Firm Conference & Expo 17 Law Society Referral Service provides thousands of referrals to those seeking assistance 18 net Benefits: Online Gazette 18 Paralegal Update perspectives Annual golf tournament helps Lawyers Feed the Hungry provide healthy meals 20 Public Legal Education: The Promise of Technology, the Merit of Simplicity 21 why I Went to Law School: Informing public perceptions tour d horizon Tendances dans la pratique du droit 23 les tendances de la profession juridique en français 24 le Barreau à la foire 25 Cliquez justice IN RECOGNITION The Hon. Ian Corneil Binnie, C.C., Q.C.; John D. Honsberger, O.Ont., Q.C., LSM; The Hon. Dennis O Connor, Q.C.; The Hon. Sydney L. Robins, O.Ont., Q.C., LSM 29 convocation decisions Recent rule and by-law amendments 30 Convocation attendance and roll-call votes judicial appointments Printed on paper containing recycled material. THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 1

4 treasurer s Q & A / Entretien avec le trésorier in this edition of the Gazette, Treasurer Conway shares his thoughts on the Law Society s role to facilitate access to justice, why it s a priority and what he s doing to advance the issue during his term. He continues to explore access to justice on his blog encouraging dialogue and welcoming new views and different perspectives on the issue. Dans ce numéro de la Gazette, le trésorier Conway parle du rôle du Barreau pour favoriser l accès à la justice, de la priorité qu il y accorde et de ce qu il fait à cet égard durant son mandat. Il explore l accès à la justice sur son blogue à où il encourage le dialogue et les nouvelles perspectives sur le sujet. In a recent blog post, you called access to justice one of the most pressing issues facing the profession today. Talk about why that is. I believe the average citizen feels alienated from the justice system and I think that s a problem. How the system is structured and operates has contributed significantly to that attitude. If we don t correct that perception and do something about the reality our democracy is going to suffer. Access to justice, for me, doesn t just mean access to the courts, or to lawyers or paralegals. It is that people who live in a democracy like ours understand their legal rights and how to advocate for them and believe that their disputes can be resolved quickly and within their means that they can have ready access to straightforward, easy to understand legal information and assistance that helps them avoid or prevent a legal problem in the first place, or to resolve their disputes, when one arises. Many people don t realize the Law Society has a broad mandate to facilitate that kind of access. You re right. Since 2006, we ve had a specific legislative mandate to facilitate access to justice. That mandate means something it means we actually can t ignore the issue. So we ve done a lot of work in that area. Paralegal regulation is one example, or yourontariolaw.com, the family law portal. As well, programs like Justicia that we ve implemented so that the public can access Dans un de vos récents blogues, vous avez qualifié l accès à la justice d un «des problèmes les plus pressants auxquels fait face la profession aujourd hui». Pouvez-vous nous dire pourquoi? Je crois que le citoyen moyen se sent éloigné de l appareil judiciaire et à mon avis, c est un problème. La structure et le fonctionnement du système ont largement contribué à cette attitude. Si nous ne rectifions pas cette perception et n agissons pas en fonction de la réalité, notre démocratie en souffrira. L accès à la justice, pour moi, ce n'est pas seulement l accès aux tribunaux, aux avocats ou aux parajuristes. C est aussi que les personnes qui vivent dans une démocratie comme la nôtre comprennent leurs droits et comment les défendre; et croient que leurs différends peuvent être réglés rapidement et selon leurs moyens qu elles puissent trouver de l information juridique simple et facile à comprendre et de l aide pour éviter des problèmes juridiques au départ, ou pour résoudre leurs différends dès qu ils surgissent. Peu de gens savent que le Barreau a un large mandat pour favoriser ce genre d accès. C est vrai. Depuis 2006, nous avons un mandat précis visant à favoriser l accès à la justice. Ce mandat est important, car il nous empêche de faire abstraction du problème. Nous avons donc accompli beaucoup de travail à cet égard. La réglementation des parajuristes en est un exemple, ou encore yourontariolaw.com, le portail sur le 2 GAZETTE SPRING 2013

5 legal professionals who reflect their own racial or gender identities these initiatives are all connected. That said, we have yet to consciously focus on what the Law Society s role is in the broader community. What I m hearing from judges, lawyers and paralegals is there s a need for leadership and coordination on these issues. I think that the Law Society is uniquely positioned to bring that leadership to bring a more strategic and overarching focus to the efforts and initiatives in this field and see that they are developed and delivered in more collaborative and integrated ways. How can the Law Society fulfil such a role? Well, we still need to determine that. You ve recently started holding meetings to do exactly that define that role. Yes. I have established a Treasurer s Advisory Group on Access to Justice to gather advice from a broad cross-section of those working on these issues. I have already met with people in organizations with an access to justice mandate and we started talking about a role for the Law Society moving forward. Now, we re obviously going to have to broaden the conversation lawyer and paralegal associations, government and courts, academia, other intermediaries; they all have a voice too so I intend to actively engage them for advice as well. People we interviewed for this issue s Focus section are suggesting that technology will be key to enabling access to justice. What are your thoughts on that? Technological developments in the last five years have shown incredible potential for improving access to justice. There are risks there, too, and as legal professionals we have to be concerned about them. The Law Society is paying close attention to what influence technology is having on how law is practised and on how legal information is delivered. At the same time, we are identifying who can best help us achieve our mandate of facilitating access to justice. I ve been talking about the Law Society s statutory duty to facilitate access to justice, but it s also the responsibility of everyone who s a member of the Law Society. Whether you re a lawyer or a paralegal, whether you re in a big firm or a small firm, it s your responsibility too. It s all of ours, collectively, as a profession. droit de la famille. Il y a aussi des programmes comme Justicia que nous avons mis en œuvre pour que le public ait accès à des professionnels du droit qui sont de leur race ou de leur sexe ces initiatives sont toutes connectées. Cela dit, nous devons encore nous pencher sur la nature du rôle du Barreau dans la collectivité. Les juges, avocats et avocates et parajuristes me parlent d un besoin de leadership et de coordination à cet égard. Je pense que le Barreau bénéficie d une position privilégiée lui permettant de fournir ce leadership de favoriser des initiatives et des efforts plus stratégiques et plus globaux dans ce secteur, et voir à leur élaboration et à leur délivrance d une façon plus collaborative et intégrée. Comment le Barreau peut-il remplir ce rôle? Eh bien, cela reste à déterminer. Vous avez récemment commencé à tenir des rencontres pour accomplir cela pouvez-vous préciser ce rôle? Oui. J ai créé un groupe consultatif du trésorier sur l accès à la justice pour recueillir des opinions de toutes sortes de personnes qui travaillent sur ces questions. J ai déjà rencontré des personnes d organisations qui ont un mandat d accès à la justice et nous entamons des discussions sur le rôle du Barreau à partir de maintenant. Il est évident que nous allons maintenant élargir la conversation les associations d avocats et de parajuristes, le gouvernement et les tribunaux, les universitaires et d autres intermédiaires ont aussi une voix j espère les engager activement pour obtenir leurs conseils. Certaines personnes que nous avons interviewées pour ce numéro suggèrent que la technologie est un aspect primordial pour donner accès à la justice. Qu en pensez-vous? Les progrès de la technologie au cours des cinq dernières années ont fait ressortir des possibilités incroyables pour améliorer l accès à la justice. Cela comporte aussi des risques dont nos professionnels du droit doivent se soucier. Le Barreau est très attentif à l influence de la technologie sur l exercice du droit et sur la prestation de l information juridique. Parallèlement, nous déterminons qui peut le mieux nous aider à favoriser l accès à la justice, conformément à notre mandat. J ai parlé de l obligation du Barreau de favoriser l accès à la justice, mais cette responsabilité revient aussi à chaque membre du Barreau. Que vous soyez un avocat ou une parajuriste, que votre cabinet soit grand ou petit, c est aussi votre responsabilité. Elle nous incombe à tous, collectivement, en tant que profession. THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 3

6 focus we re living in a new world filled with structural changes that aren t reversing. So it is imperative that we learn how to use them in order to better serve the public interest. Mitch Kowalski, lawyer, author 4 GAZETTE SPRING 2013

7 focus The changing legal profession: anticipating the future Change is upon us, driven mainly by the public s need for better access to legal services. Trends such as globalization, technology and pressure to reduce the cost of legal services will increasingly shape the legal landscape. In Ontario, the Law Society has begun to look at Alternative Business Structures (ABS). As part of that work, the ABS Working Group is examining these trends, exploring the ideas of legal futurists and observing developments both at home and abroad. The working group will be assessing the implications of these trends, ideas and developments, including potential regulatory impact, for the Law Society. This article presents the perspectives of thought leaders in Canada, the United States, and England on how legal services may be provided in the future and the related regulatory challenges. spark studio/imagezoo/getty Images in mi t c h k o w a l s k i s vi e w, l a w y e r s in th e f u t u r e wi l l be more consultants than technicians. They ll need far more than legal skills, explains Kowalski, author of the acclaimed 2012 book, Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21 st Century. Among other things, they ll need project-management and peoplemanagement skills. Lawyers will also need to be comfortable managing a number of different moving parts and different players in order to create solutions for clients. Many of Kowalski s ideas come not only from studying legal markets across the world, but also from his own eclectic experience in a wide range of legal service roles, ranging from practising law at the Toronto office of global law firm Baker & McKenzie and at one of Toronto s oldest, mid-sized firms, Aylesworth, (which merged with Dickinson Wright PLLC in 2011), to being in-house counsel at the City of Toronto, performing a business role at First Canadian Title and now operating a small solo practice in Toronto. Kowalski says that lawyers of the near future will serve as quarterbacks handing the ball to a variety of players each of whom fulfil discrete tasks for each situation. The successful 21st-century law firm will use a number of different players and options appropriate for each situation, as opposed to the current approach where the law firm does everything on a file. Mitch Kowalski at Convocation's live webcast of the Articling Debate, fall 2012 Lawyers will also have to be much more comfortable using technology so that they are not only more mobile, but also more interconnected with clients. While major law firms all claim that they re very efficient, if you actually went through their operations with a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, you d find a lot of waste and inefficiency. THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 5

8 focus Smaller firms are better positioned to become efficient and lean, which in turn will allow them to punch above their weight and do work that bigger firms can do, says Kowalski. Lawyers also need to be better at running their files, he explains. Most lawyers project-manage in their heads instead of mapping out the file step-by-step. A disciplined project management approach allows lawyers to not only rethink how files are run, but also gives lawyers a greater understanding of the actual costs of each file, Kowalski says. This approach is critical for pricing and for managing client expectations on process and price. There are a lot of things that can be re-engineered. Rethinking legal services That s why Kowalski believes it s time for the profession to undergo a complete overhaul. The billable hour is outdated since it doesn t provide lawyers with an incentive to be efficient and because, in his view, there is no connection between time spent on a file and value to the client. Similarly, he feels the partnership model is obsolete and exceptionally fragile. The short-term goals of individual lawyers such as making as much money as they can this year do not automatically lead to the long-term viability of a firm. Acting in the long-term interests of the firm actually reduces the amount of money each lawyer takes home in the short term. Kowalski prefers a corporate model to a partnership model, where executives and boards of directors think long term, focus on concepts of custodianship, stewardship, responsibility, and accountability and also make long-term investments that are in the interests of the firm as a whole, despite any short-term personal costs. In other words, he believes that where a partnership is merely the sum of its parts, a corporation can be greater than the sum of its parts. Kowalski also points out that the partnership model has no mechanism to allow for outside investment to fund innovations. Any innovation must be funded from within the partnership, creating large short-terms costs for existing partners. According to Kowalski, capital investment is key to funding innovations necessary to drive efficiencies and he points to the United Kingdom as an example to be emulated. The Legal Services Act opened up the field to non-lawyer ownership in legal service entities, which is driving efficiencies, lowering prices and providing greater access to justice in the UK, explains Kowalski, who has also lectured in the UK on innovative thinking in the legal profession. Capital is a big driver of innovation, so if your only source of capital is from your partners, it s extremely limiting. But if you allow outside investors, you theoretically have unlimited amounts of capital that can be invested to create processes, purchase technology and even develop new technology that will be beneficial to your firm and to your clients. He hopes Canadian law societies will follow the lead of the UK and permit ABSs that allow non-lawyers to manage or coown law firms in England and Wales. It s all about access to justice, says Kowalski. Embracing technology Kowalski says that technology is another way access to justice can be improved. California-based LegalZoom a one-stop online legal shop established by four U.S. attorneys that provides businesses and individuals with routine solicitor work involving incorporations, trademarks and wills and estates is one initiative that demonstrates how practitioners can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering legal services. Another example is Michigan State University law professor Daniel Katz, who is designing high-tech tools to help litigation counsel advise clients as to the feasibility of their cases. Katz and his team are working with big data and algorithms so that eventually a lawyer will be able to enter a set of facts into a program based on a compendium of case law in the United States and that program will then determine the odds of success. It s probably five years away from going live, but it certainly demonstrates how technology is going to impact how we litigate and negotiate settlements, says Kowalski. Current technology already enables lawyers to have virtual offices that are able to reach under-served communities hungry for legal services at affordable rates. Consider rural areas of the province where older lawyers are retiring. Perhaps a lawyer won t need to have an office in small-town Ontario as long as he or she has a virtual presence there. Locals can deal with that lawyer through Skype or some other interactive technology and get the same level of service, says Kowalski. We re living in a new world filled with structural changes that aren t reversing. So it is imperative that we learn how to use them in order to better serve the public interest. At the same time, lawyers will face an increasing presence of non-lawyers offering low-cost online legal services, says Penn State Dickinson School of Law professor Laurel Terry, a scholar in the international regulation of the legal profession. There will be a lot of pressure on lawyers to come up with very efficient means to compete and they re going to need to persuade clients about the value-add of their services, which to me is the training, experience and judgment involved in representation, she explains, noting that in the future, 6 GAZETTE SPRING 2013

9 anticipating the future clients may initially interact with counsel online from their homes rather than meet in their lawyer s office to begin the preliminary work on their case. Globalization and other pressures However, lawyers will also have to be mindful of the dramatic effect of globalization and changing demographics. Terry points out that Canadian exports and imports of legal services more than doubled between 1995 and That means lawyers will need to be prepared to help business clients navigate not just within the bounds of their province or territory, but also help them globally and that s a skill-set lawyers may not have had in the past. Lawyers will have to think and act globally when representing non-business clients too, she says. For instance, Terry cites a 2010 Statistics Canada study that predicted that by 2031, between 25 and 28 per cent of the country s population will be foreign-born. The report noted that Canada s foreign-born population was expected to grow at a rate four times faster than the rest of the population, and that by 2031, 46 per cent of Canadians 15 years of age or older will be foreign-born or have at least one non-canadian born parent. That demographic shift will bring with it issues not only involving immigration law, but also ancillary issues, such as foreign property or inheritance flowing from wills and estates law. Lawyers in the future are much more likely to deal with legal issues arising in other countries for their clients, says Terry, who recently wrote an article on trends in global and Canadian lawyer regulation for the University of Saskatchewan Law Review. It doesn t mean that every Canadian lawyer will have to become competent in international law. But if they re not, they will need to be able to find an expert who can help their clients on international matters. Ultimately, lawyers will have to better understand what clients want and need, argues Crispin Passmore, director of strategy at the Legal Services Board (LSB) in London. I m not convinced there s such a thing as the legal services market, he says. Consumers want problem avoidance and problem resolution and sometimes legal advice, and it doesn t matter whether it s an individual caught up in a family breakdown; a small business hiring employees, engaged in major finance deal or exporting intellectual property; or a big business doing compliance work, tax management or risk management. People want help to either avoid problems happening or when they happen, they want to manage them effectively. So Penn State Dickinson School of Law professor Laurel Terry, a scholar in the international regulation of the legal profession it s not really a legal market. It s more of a problem-avoidance/ problem-resolution market. Alternative ways to meet client needs In Passmore s view, as competition for the legal services market increases, it will shift from what he refers to as performance competition, where lawyers try to focus on costs and quality of service to improve what they do, to disruptive competition, where counsel attempts to meet client needs differently. That might find lawyers offering mediation and arbitration instead of traditional legal services, he explains. Passmore suggests in the future, other players, such as accountancy firms, may provide legal extras, such as compliance work traditionally performed by lawyers, but in this case, run through a corporate software program to which clients would have direct online access. It s as much about how can people s needs be met by alternatives to lawyers as it is about lawyers changing what they do, says Passmore, who prior to joining the LSB in May 2009, worked for the UK s Legal Services Commission as executive director of policy and before that, was the first nonlawyer to serve as CEO of the legal aid-type, not-for-profit Coventry Law Centre in the UK. At the LSB, he is witnessing firsthand how the legal profession is undergoing dramatic change in his jurisdiction. THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 7

10 focus Created as an independent body under the 2007 Legal Services Act, the LSB regulates law firms and has the mandate to modernize the provision of legal services by facilitating the development of ABSs, subject to their own regulatory requirements. Firms intending to provide certain legal services reserved for legal professionals but which seek to do so with the involvement of a non-lawyer, and in which either corporate managers or non-lawyers together exercise control, or are entitled to control the exercise of at least 10 per cent of the voting rights in the firm must be licensed as an ABS in England and Wales. In Passmore s view, the shareholding ABS model offers greater opportunity for the delivery of legal services. Providing capital and expanding offerings Profit gets distributed to shareholders rather than to managers whereas in a partnership, the managers and shareholders are one in the same, Passmore says, echoing Kowalski s criticism of the partnership model. That matters if you imagine a director telling partners they need to push down costs and need to invest X amount of money. What they re being asked is to take that money out of their income or profits, which doesn t happen in corporations. Those funds come out of surplus profit after money is distributed to shareholders. With ABSs, you bring capital to the game so that firms with good ideas can raise money to expand quickly. Passmore says that some of the first ABSs to arrive in the UK looked like law firms but were able to quickly raise capital to expand their legal offerings on a large scale, such as superretailer Co-operative Group, which sells food, appliances, insurance, travel and offers banking, pharmacy and legal services in everything from wills and estates, conveyancing and personal injury claims to employment law and, most recently, family law. If a client cannot afford the legal fees upfront, Co-operative Legal Services Ltd. will provide them a low-cost loan and secure the credit against any future settlement or asset distribution, Passmore explains. This allows Co-op to grow the banking and legal services sides of its business, and the company can also cross-sell into other areas, such as its funeral business. The company can offer to probate a will and remind other family members to write one, and provide investment advice for any assets from an estate. Co-op relies on its brand to reach existing and potential customers. The same holds true with QualitySolicitors, an Internet-based alliance of independent UK law firms that, in 2011, formed a national partnership with high-street stationery giant, WHSmith, to set up shop with Legal Access Points in over 150 branches across England and Wales, where bookstore customers can enquire about legal services but not receive direct legal services, as is the case with Co-op. (Last year, QualitySolicitors teamed up with LegalZoom to offer online legal services from solicitors in over 400 locations across the UK.) Co-op and QualitySolicitors are considered Mega ABSs, which are subject to the same regulatory and disciplinary rules traditional law firms face in protecting the public against such issues as the misappropriation of client funds, transparency in pricing and misrepresentation. But what really is different is the ability of ABSs to meet consumer need, says Passmore. Further, according to Passmore, customers don t care about the ownership structure of legal services providers much like they don t care who owns a supermarket or garage. They look at the services offered and prices and see whether they re happy with it. He also dismisses concerns that ABSs are purely driven by profit. We can overstate the idea that external owners are in it for the money whereas lawyers aren t. When it comes down to it, lawyers are trying to make a living as well. In fact, former Bank of England deputy governor Sir David Clementi headed a commission a decade ago that reviewed the regulatory framework for legal services in England and Wales, Crispin Passmore, director of strategy at the Legal Services Board (LSB) in London, England 8 GAZETTE SPRING 2013

11 anticipating the future and suggested in his final report in 2004 that lawyers who don't think they're in the legal services business wouldn't be in business for long. Lawyers are making decisions the same as any other business, and are doing it to maximize profit, which is best done by meeting consumer demand, says Passmore, who notes that one of the first major entrants into retail legal services was Co-op, which distributes its profits to its members. Enhancing access via broader choice He explains that since the LSB became fully active in 2010, when the regulatory regime it operates under was activated by statute, the major issue has been to strip away the rules that protect lawyers rather than protect clients. Our focus has been on how to enhance competition and allow people to come into the legal services market and get away from the idea that regulation should ever dictate business structure. Passmore believes that giving consumers broader choice can only enhance access to justice. Lots of economic theory shows that competitive market growth will lead to new providers offering legal services and therefore giving more people greater access to those services, he explains. Competition also drives innovation, which means people getting services in different sorts of ways at better pricing. For instance, people who don t qualify for legal aid but who nonetheless cannot pay standard legal fees are an untapped market for providers, who, says Passmore, could design affordable services for such consumers. Clients unhappy with the service they receive from a lawyer at a law firm or an ABS can also file a complaint with the Legal Ombudsman, an office also established by the Legal Services Act. That increases consumer confidence and makes them less scared of lawyers and able to choose one as they would access banking, insurance or other professional services, says Passmore. Although some jurisdictions around the world are waiting to see how ABSs play out in the UK, legal markets globally are headed in one direction, he believes and that s toward liberalization. Benefits of global reach As a result of technology shrinking geographic distances, legal service providers have more opportunity to expand their reach internationally and serve clients in multiple jurisdictions, Andrew Fleming, managing partner of Norton Rose Canada LLP in Toronto according to Andrew Fleming, managing partner of Norton Rose Canada LLP in Toronto. He says that Montreal-based Ogilvy Renault LLP, where he held the same managing partner role he has now, didn t hesitate when it was presented with an offer to join Norton Rose Fulbright, as the global legal practice will be known as of June 1 when it joins forces with Fulbright & Jaworski LLP of Houston. We recognized that some of our clients with whom we had very good relationships and did a lot of work were basically looking outward and Canada and the UK are countries where that is more prevalent than most others, explains Fleming. We decided that if we wanted to be good lawyers making reasonable amounts of money we could do so by staying in Canada. But if we wanted to reach for the brass ring, we would have to look outward as most of our clients were with the idea that we could provide services globally. Following the 2011 merger, Norton Rose Canada lawyers now join with their global partners to represent clients in matters beyond Canada s borders as Fleming recently did when he assembled a team to handle the sale of a client s company that had offices in six foreign jurisdictions. We can run the deal out of Toronto, but to have the global reach like we have with Norton Rose Group [which has more than 2,900 lawyers in offices on every continent save Antarctica] means we can capture a lot of the value in that transaction very easily, he explains. In part, it s embracing technology and all that it can bring to us. But fundamentally, it s about having a group of likeminded professionals around the world with whom we have enough faith to be able to recommend to our best clients that they use them in various parts of the world. THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 9

12 focus Fleming, who also practises business law, says the profession will have to embrace an advanced model for the production of legal services, which includes the extensive use of technology and within that, a sophisticated knowledge-management system. If my colleague in Sydney is doing a public-private partnership for a gas plant in Australia, I should be able to access all of the knowledge accumulated and use that in connection with a transaction in Canada. Knowledge management, in his opinion, is likely the largest and most important tool global firms have at their disposal. People don t hire law firms, they hire lawyers, and want a trusted-advisor relationship with them to solve as many problems as the lawyer can and provide them with access to legal services wherever they do business, which is where we have a tremendous advantage as a global law firm. Fleming characterizes London-headquartered Norton Rose s outward reach internationally as a quasi-genetic attribute. I think it s in the DNA of British culture to be global in perspective and look beyond its shores, he says. The UK is reasonably small geographically, yet has managed to grab and hold an incredibly important position in global commerce, with London still the financial capital of the world. And English law firms have all been very strong in former British colonies, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and now most of them are branching out into the United States, another former colony. Fleming says that Norton Rose s recent inroads into Canada, Australia, South Africa and the U.S. is simply a natural extension of the firm s business model. Other multinational marriages of major firms in Canada are possible, he thinks, but doubts any large Canadian firms will embrace ABSs. The model is pretty straightforward in Canada, says Fleming. It s either based on a partnership or a professional corporation for tax-planning purposes. However, he concedes that ABSs could be a future fit for class-action boutiques that typically use settlements from a handful of successful cases to pay for the many more run on a contingency-fee basis. That sort of practice might need extra capital. The one common driver that will guide firms, regardless of size or practice area, in the future is technology, says Fleming. When I started practising law in 1975, I would go to the library, pull out books and search indexes as part of my research. Now, I can go on the Internet, type in three or four words in Google, and I ve done as much research in 30 seconds that would have taken days to do 10 years ago. He adds that Canadians are also becoming empowered in cyberspace. It s becoming so much easier for people to protect or enforce their rights by getting a sense of what matters and what can be defended or arbitrated from using the Internet and that will be a major factor in the future in terms of how legal services will be provided. Thinking as a service provider For lawyers, the future will be filled with various pressures, from clients seeking other options beyond the hourly billing rate to increasing competition from alternative service providers who can use technology to replicate legal services provided by licensed lawyers, says University of Ottawa technology law professor Michael Geist. Of all those factors, he believes technology can play an important role in improving access to justice already seen through such initiatives as the online compendium of case law, board and tribunal decisions, statutes and regulations developed by the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), of which Geist serves on the board of directors. I also think service providers able to offer more technology-driven, cookie-cutter-style services, such as wills and estates, real-estate transactions, incorporations and contracts, will significantly increase access to legal services because they ll be able to offer many of those services at lower price points, says Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the U of O. But as Penn State s Terry points out, the most profound paradigm shift lawyers face in the future is that of being considered service providers. The legal profession will not be viewed as a separate, unique profession entitled to its own individual regulations, but will be included in a broader group of service providers that can be regulated together, she explains, noting that lawyers are already considered service providers under the North American Free Trade Agreement. This new paradigm represents a fundamental, seismic shift in the approach towards lawyer regulation, and will affect not only who regulates lawyers but how they are regulated. University of Ottawa technology law professor Michael Geist 10 GAZETTE SPRING 2013

13 news Law Society calls for proposals for new Law Practice Program t h e la w so c i e t y is s u e d an op e n r e q u e s t fo r pr o p o s a l (r f p) on February 1, 2013, for one or more qualified organizations to design, develop, implement and manage all aspects of a Law Practice Program (LPP), to begin in the licensing year. The LPP is part of the three-year Pathways to Lawyer Licensing Pilot Project, as approved by Convocation in November Under the pilot project, lawyer licensing candidates may either complete the traditional 10-month articling term with enhanced documentation, or a four-month long LPP, which will include an additional four-month co-operative work placement. The new licensing pilot will be extended for up to an additional two years if there is insufficient evidence to properly evaluate the pilot after three years. The RFP includes certain criteria to be met by the LPP, but it is up to prospective providers to detail how their proposed programs will meet that criteria and provide proposals on course and co-operative work placement structure. The closing date for Receipt of Notice of Intention to Submit a Proposal was March 15, 2013 by 5 p.m. EST. The closing date for Receipt of Proposals is May 31, 2013 by 5 p.m. EST. The Law Society expects to announce results of the RFP process in the fall of The RFP is available on the Law Society website at National competency profile for lawyers approved Convocation recently approved the Federation of Law Societies of Canada s National Entry to Practice Competency Profile for Lawyers and Québec Notaries. The competency profile is a key element in the first phase of the Federation s National Admission Standards Project, which is focused on developing and implementing consistent, transparent and high national regulatory standards. The evolution of legal services demands an increasingly mobile legal profession and Canada s law societies have responded with comprehensive national mobility agreements. Now, membership in one law society effectively grants lawyers membership in virtually every other Canadian law society, underlining the need for national standards. Practitioners and law society representatives from across Canada, including Diana Miles, Executive Director, Organizational Strategy and Effectiveness at the Law Society of Upper Canada, worked with a consultant specializing in credentialing to develop the profile. To test and confirm its validity, the Federation undertook a large-scale survey of the legal profession. This important step of approving the National Competency Profile is the result of two years of focused, detailed work says John J.L. Hunter, Q.C., past president of the Federation. The profile is now with the law societies for approval and 10 of the 14 jurisdictions have approved it, with the understanding that phase two of the project, implementation, will be based on a nationally accepted plan. According to Hunter, We plan for phase two to conclude with a detailed roadmap of the process for implementation, a plan to manage the transition to national standards, and identification of the resources that will be necessary to manage the implementation process. The competency profile is a key element in the first phase of the Federation s National Admission Standards Project, which is focused on developing and implementing consistent, transparent and high national regulatory standards. THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 11

14 news TAG: Treasurer s Advisory Group on Access to Justice begins with success the Law Foundation of Ontario. A key finding of the OCLN Project was the need for better, and more strategic, cooperation between organizations working on improving access to justice. The best way to set a new direction for the Law Society in access to justice is to hear from and talk to as many people as possible, says Treasurer Conway. TAG will help me do that. A key finding of the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project was the need for better, and more strategic, cooperation between organizations working on improving access to justice. istockphoto.com Answering the call for reliable legal information In addition to calling for creative collaboration, the first meeting of tag the treasurer s advisory group on Access to Justice took place this February, and was by all accounts, a success. The enthusiastic response from the initial group of participants was extremely encouraging, says Treasurer Conway. I am looking forward to meeting again with those organizations and also with many others from the legal and broader community. Representatives from organizations with access to justice mandates met with the Treasurer to discuss current projects and how they might better work together in the future. More meetings are planned with law associations, academia, government and community service providers. Treasurer Conway established TAG as a means to help define an enhanced role for the Law Society in facilitating access to justice, a goal the Treasurer has set for his term and one that has personal roots. To a certain extent, my experience as a lawyer in private practice in all sizes of firms, has led me to focus on access to justice. I am disturbed by what I perceive as a growing distance between the public and the justice system, says Treasurer Conway. We need to reverse this trend and make justice accessible to all Ontarians. The genesis of TAG can be traced, at least partially, to the Ontario Civil Legal Needs (OCLN) Project, a large-scale public research initiative that the Law Society undertook with Legal Aid Ontario and Pro Bono Law Ontario, with support from 12 GAZETTE SPRING 2013 the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project identified the pressing need to provide the public with reliable legal information. This laid the groundwork for the Law Society s most recent access to justice initiatives. The Law Society's Your Law video series, accessible through YouTube and the Law Society website, explores common legal issues faced by the public and the benefits of hiring a lawyer or licensed paralegal to help in these situations. The first five videos in the series look at working with a lawyer when buying or selling a house, writing a will and creating a power of attorney, dealing with personal injury, custody and child support, as well as alimony and jointly owned property. A sixth video demonstrates how a paralegal can help people in Small Claims Court or with a traffic offence. The latest video in the series discusses how the public can benefit from hiring lawyers certified by the Law Society for their specialization in an area of practice. In 2012, the Law Society launched the Your Law: Family Law in Ontario website, which acts as a first stop for people in need of preliminary information and guidance on family law matters. Lawyers can direct their clients to the site to help them find easyto-understand answers to some of their questions. This year, the Law Society is partnering with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) and Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) to develop online resources to support lawyers and paralegals in presenting public legal information programs. The Law Society will host a live public legal education event for lawyers, paralegals and members of the public as a demonstration. More details about the event will be released soon.

15 your practice Real Estate Declaration introduced for Lawyer Annual Report istockphoto.com to help combat the high costs of real estate-related complaints, particularly mortgage fraud, the Law Society s governing body approved a motion requiring lawyers who practise real estate law to declare their compliance with the Law Society s Rules and By-laws regarding this area of practice. As a transitional step, the Real Estate Acknowledgement will be included in the 2013 Lawyer Annual Report, to be filed by March 31, In 2014 and subsequent years, lawyers practising real estate law will be required to complete an Annual Declaration of their compliance. The new requirement focuses on mortgage fraud issues and does not involve any rule or by-law changes, nor does it create any new obligations. It consolidates and reinforces the real estate requirements outlined in the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Law Society By-laws. The Law Society takes mortgage fraud extremely seriously and we ve introduced many initiatives and resources over the last several years to prevent and combat it, says Treasurer Conway. Now, we are further enhancing our efforts. The new requirement confirms the critical role that real estate lawyers play in real estate transactions and reflects the due diligence required. This will help to further protect the public and real estate lawyers. Under the provision, lawyers will acknowledge in 2013 (and declare in 2014 and subsequent years) that they complied with their professional obligations to: ot allow anyone to use their e-reg n diskette/key or personalized e-reg pass phrase n directly supervise non-lawyers assigned permissible tasks and functions and not assign to non-lawyers any tasks requiring a lawyer s skill or judgment n not act for both a transferor and transferee in the transfer of title to real n property, except in the limited circumstances set out in Rule (3) n when acting in permissible circumstances for both a borrower and lender in a mortgage or loan transaction, disclose in writing to the borrower and lender, before the advance or release of mortgage or loan funds, all material information that is relevant to the transaction n not act or do anything or omit to do anything to assist a client or anyone else to facilitate dishonesty, fraud, crime or illegal conduct and acknowledge the existence of various Law Society and LAWPRO resources relating to real estate fraud n comply with their obligations under the Electronic Land Registration Agreement to obtain evidence of proper authorization from the owner of the land or holder of an interest in the land that has directed the registration, prior to the submission of the document for registration in the Electronic Land Registration System. Lawyers who have questions about the requirement can contact the Law Society s Client Service Centre at / , ext General information is also available on the Law Society website. Important reminder Late fee policy in effect, annual report must be received by July 2, 2013 In addition, the default period during which lawyers and paralegals may pay their annual fee or file their annual report without penalty The annual report was due March 31, Any reports not received has been reduced to 90 days from 120 days for 2013 fees and filings. In 2014, the default period will be further reduced to 60 days. by July 2, 2013 will be subject to a $100 late fee charge. The Law Society has reduced the default period and implemented a late fee policy for annual fee payments and annual report filings. Lawyers and paralegals who fail to file their annual report on time, The Law Society adopted the new policies to save administrative costs by reducing the number of late payments and filings. or who fail to pay their annual fee on time, will be subject to the late fee as well as potential administrative suspension. More information is available at: THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 13

16 your practice Family law website delivers helpful guidance in plain language s i x m o n t h s a f t e r i t s l a u n c h, t h e l a w s o c i e t y s y o u r l a w: Family Law in Ontario website is proving to be a valuable access to justice tool for the audience it was designed for parents involved in a family breakdown. The site was designed to provide information to the public, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of selfrepresented and unrepresented litigants facing a family law dispute in Ontario. With yourontariolaw.com, we set out to provide guidance in plain language, pulling together information that already exists online, to create a first stop for visitors in need of preliminary information and guidance on the emotional, financial, legal and social considerations involved in family breakdown, says Diana Miles, Executive Director of Organizational Strategy and Effectiveness. An evaluation based on an online survey, usage statistics, feedback from practitioners and other organizations, and other feedback, shows that the site has been a success. The yourontariolaw.com site has received an average of 1,611 visits per month. Each month, 82 per cent of the visitors are new to the site and 91 per cent are based in Ontario. Over 81 per cent of respondents to an online survey found some or all of the information that they were looking for. The survey results also indicated that 62 per cent of visitors would recommend the site to a friend. An open-ended question, asking survey respondents the purpose of their visit, elicited a variety of responses, providing some insight about how the site is used. These ranged from someone wanting information on filing forms at the beginning of the separation and divorce process, and a person looking for legal help who can't afford a lawyer, to professionals, such as social workers and family law lawyers, looking for information and resources to help clients. Testimonials from family lawyers laud the site for its user friendliness, the quality of information presented and for effectively providing guidance to people trying to navigate the family law justice system. After spending some time on the website, I must confess that I m impressed by its intuitive user interface. Rather than forcing the reader to scroll through a long page, the site arranges its contents by topic. For each topic, there is a series of commonly encountered issues from which to select. Pei-Shing B. Wang, PSW Law The site contains information and answers that were not easily accessible beforehand. The online guides are written in simple English so they can be understood by everyone. It gives a better understanding of the justice system so one can answer their own questions. The purpose of Your Law was to make it an all-inclusive site where one would not have the need to look elsewhere in regards to family law. It seems the creators of this site were quite successful as they have produced an excellent site. Barry Nussbaum Family Law Group We are pleased that early indicators show the site is being used for its intended purpose by its intended audience, says Miles. The site was designed to provide guidance to people facing a family matter and as a tool for lawyers in educating their clients, to help the family law justice system to function more effectively. We have integrated a special section on dealing with violence in the home within the site, specifically to promote access to the legal and community supports and services that are available to people facing these circumstances. 14 GAZETTE SPRING 2013

17 CPD make a plan Gain maximum benefit from your 2013 CPD by following these steps to make a plan: Set goals 4 3 Consider benefits Review your 2012 CPD activities. What benefited you the most and why? What would you like to build on? Write down your goals and plans for the future, both short- and long-term. Are there areas of law you want to expand into? What major changes to the law, procedure or industry are on the horizon? Are you looking for new skills or knowledge in your current practice area? Consider how CPD programs and activities could benefit you. Are you looking for networking opportunities? Do you want to share your expertise through teaching, writing or mentoring? Are any of the activities you are already doing eligible for CPD Hours? Establish a budget. Take advantage of the many cost-effective and convenient ways to earn CPD Hours. Do you and your colleagues want to set up a study group to discuss a new case or common challenges? Why not write an article on the latest developments in your area of practice? The Law Society offers a number of free professionalism programs to lawyers and paralegals. In addition, a number of other providers offer free or low cost programming for CPD Hours. Mobilize. Set your plan, implement it and enjoy the benefits. Which programs address your areas of growth or provide networking opportunities? Which CPD activities will help achieve your goals? Do any of your activities address professional responsibility, ethics and/or practice management topics? If so, they may qualify for accreditation for Professionalism Hours. More information is available at click CPD Requirement on the home page. EXIGENCE DE THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 15 REQUIREMENT

18 your practice New video highlights value of Certified Specialist Program experienced leader in a particular field of law who has met high standards of competence and professionalism. The Certified Specialist video is one of the seven-part Your Law series of videos designed to help the public learn more about how to access and navigate the legal system. The six other videos in the series consider issues related to wills and estates, real estate, personal injury, paralegals, and family law. The complete series is also available on the Law Society s YouTube channel at l a w y e r ma y ch e n g, c s, h a s so m e ad v i c e on ho w to ga i n an edge in today s competitive legal environment. In a new online video, Cheng describes how becoming a Certified Specialist can improve one s career. If you re looking to establish your credibility within your firm, or if you re looking to enhance your profile externally, the Certified Specialist Program is a great way to achieve that goal, says Cheng, who specializes in Intellectual Property Law. Launched in January, the video features four Certified Specialists discussing how the public can benefit from hiring lawyers recognized by the Law Society for their specialization in an area of practice. The new video is available at: Achieving certification is the formal, public recognition of ongoing distinction and achievement in a chosen field of law, Law Society bencher and chair of the Society s Certified Specialist Board, Janet Leiper says. When a member of the public hires a Certified Specialist for their legal matter, they are hiring a recognized and About the Certified Specialist Program The Certified Specialist Program recognizes lawyers who have met established standards of experience and knowledge requirements in designated areas of law and maintained exemplary standards of professional practice. To be eligible for certification, lawyers must have at least seven years of experience five of which are in their specialty area. Information about the Certified Specialist Program, including eligibility criteria, application materials and fees, is available on the Law Society website at: About-Your-Licence/About-the-Certified-Specialist-Program/. Certification Perks n Your name will be included in the Law Society s online Certified Specialist Directory at www1.lsuc.on.ca/specialist/ jsp/directory1.jsp, so that clients and referring lawyers can find you quickly and easily. n You will be able to use the designation CS following your name for the area of law in which you specialize. Peer volunteers needed If you re an empathetic and caring lawyer or paralegal who has struggled in the past with addiction, mental health, or other serious issues, consider helping colleagues facing similar struggles by volunteering for the Member Assistance Program s confidential Peer Support Program. The Peer Support Program, an integral part of the Member Assistance Program offered by Homewood Human Solutions TM, offers peer-to-peer support to lawyers and paralegals who are dealing with addiction, work-life balance challenges or mental health issues. Homewood will provide all volunteers with ongoing training on effective ways to support others in the profession. Administration of the program will be provided by Aon Hewitt Inc. to ensure the full confidentiality of all client information. More information about this volunteer opportunity is available by or by phone: GAZETTE SPRING 2013

19 your practice Don t miss this year s Solo and Small Firm Conference & Expo The Law Society s annual Solo and Small Firm Conference & Expo, May 23 and 24, 2013, is a must-attend event, with each year s conference offering more of the latest in essential tools and information to support the unique needs of sole practitioners and lawyers in small firms. New for 2013 The popular Vendor Expo, which showcases a wide range of products and support services, will be bigger than ever this year and will take place over both days of the conference. Demo Day in the Exhibit Hall will see a variety of exhibitors take centre stage and tell delegates what they do best and how their products and services can assist lawyers. Also new this year, delegates are invited to share their accomplishments and challenges with colleagues and speakers at an evening dinner event at the end of Day One. An important part of the event is the opportunity for lawyers to meet other practitioners and to network with colleagues. This dinner will provide an excellent venue for these activities, says conference planner, Shari Slonim, Counsel, Continuing Professional Development, at the Law Society. Hot Topics The many breakout sessions will offer practitioners a chance to learn about innovative technologies and practice management tools that can increase productivity and enhance client service. We are very pleased with the range of speakers and topics that we are able to offer this year, says Slonim. Here is a sample of the sessions being offered: n The Five-Minute Entrepreneur: Lessons from Lawyers on the Leading Edge n Get Your Head and Practice in the Cloud n Everything You Wanted to Know About Mac but Were Afraid to Ask n 50 Apps in 50 Minutes n Social Media: Are You There Yet? n 60 Tips You Can t Live Without n You Need to Know sessions in Real Estate, Business, Wills and Estates, Family and Civil The conference will once again kick off with the annual Treasurer s Dinner on May 22. Delegates will have an opportunity to meet the Treasurer and network with other conference attendees. Other popular features returning this year are the cocktail reception following Day One, and the Stump the Experts breakfast session on Day Two. The Solo and Small Firm Conference takes place at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre on May 23 and 24, Registration is now open through the Law Society s website at The event is also offered as a live webcast for those who are unable to attend in Toronto. Early registration for the Toronto event is advised as it often sells out. Web: Twitter: #solosmall Facebook: facebook.com/solosmall2013 THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA 17

20 your practice Law Society Referral Service provides thousands of referrals to those seeking assistance h u n d r e d s of pe o p l e ca l l th e la w so c i e t y r e f e r r a l se r v i c e (l s r s) every day, seeking referrals to lawyers or paralegals because they need assistance with a legal issue. LSRS subscribers agree to provide up to 30 minutes of free consultation to callers to explore their legal options. This valuable service has been helping Ontarians for more than 40 years and there are currently more than 1,100 lawyers and more than 145 paralegals registered with the LSRS. Most lawyers who subscribe to the LSRS practise family law (34 per cent), followed by civil litigation (23 per cent) criminal law (22 per cent), business law (12 per cent), labour and employment law (six per cent), and administrative law (three per cent). In 2012, the LSRS provided 71,162 lawyer referrals and 91,757 names of lawyers to members of the public. LSRS subscribers value the service as an important business development tool and a way to enhance access to justice for the public. The annual LSRS fee is $ (including tax). More information about joining the LSRS or renewing a subscription is available on the Law Society website: Labour & Employment Law 16% Real Estate Law 4% Administrative Law 6% Criminal Law 9% Civil Litigation 36% Family/Estate Law 29% Most Common Areas of Law for Referrals to Lawyers Net benefits: Online Gazette Paralegal Update: Emerging issues for the Law Society s newest members Treasurer s Blog: Field notes from Thomas Conway and the Law Society s leadership Parlez-vous français? Latest News: Stay informed about CPD resources, rule changes and Law Society goings-on Visit lawsocietygazette.ca 18 GAZETTE SPRING 2013

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