Advertising rules amended
The lawyer and
paralegal conduct rules were amended by Convocation in February to directly
address certain false and misleading advertising practices.
- Require licensees to identify in their advertising whether they
are a lawyer or paralegal;
- Prohibit advertising of second-opinion
The amendments also:
- Provide detailed
guidance on what awards may be used for marketing purposes;
explicit that lawyers and paralegals may not advertise for work they are not
licensed to do, not competent to do or do not intend to do.
Lawyers and paralegals must bring their marketing materials in line with the
new rules as quickly as possible.
The Law Society has established a
multi-functional enforcement team to address advertising and fee issues. In the
event the rules are not followed, the Law Society will vigorously investigate
and take appropriate regulatory action.
NOTICE TO THE PROFESSIONS
Referral fees to be capped
The Law Society plans to set a cap and establish new requirements for the
fees a lawyer or paralegal may charge for referring a client to another
licensee. The new policy, which was approved in principle at February
Convocation, addresses concerns that current referral fee systems are not
transparent or beneficial to the client.
To implement the policy,
Convocation will consider the following in the coming months:
amount at which referral fees will be capped;
- Changes to advertising
rules to provide further guidance to licensees regarding their obligations;
- Additional transparency measures such as requirements for:
standard referral agreement to be signed by the client, referring licensee and
the licensee accepting the referral;
- The client to be provided with
more than one choice of lawyer or paralegal in the referral;
to record referral fees paid or received in a manner accessible to the Law
Society on request;
- Certain limited prohibitions, for
example, on up-front referral fees.