Mobility for Manitoba Lawyers
These FAQ's are intended as a guide for Manitoba lawyers who intend to practice on a temporary basis in other Canadian provinces under the provisions of the National Mobility Agreement (NMA).
1. I understand that different mobility provisions are in place in various regions of the country. How do they apply to me?
The Law Society of Manitoba has signed and implemented the National Mobility Agreement (NMA). It is a reciprocal agreement, so both the jurisdiction in which the lawyer is a practising member and the jurisdiction in which the lawyer wishes to exercise temporary or permanent mobility must both have signed and implemented the agreement. Under the NMA you may practise law on a temporary basis for not more than 100 days in a calendar year. You may do so in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. (01-07-03) (AM. 14-11-03) (AM. 28-11-07)
The Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon have not implemented the temporary mobility provisions of the NMA. You must contact these jurisdictions directly to determine what will be required of you to practise there on a temporary basis. In Québec, the Barreau du Québec has implemented rules to permit a Canadian lawyer to practice law in Québec in connection with a specific case. The lawyer must make an application for special authorization to practice in Québec. The administrative fee for the authorization is $100.00 for the first application with no charge for further applications in a current year or for a renewal application. In order to be issued a special authorization the lawyer must provide a Certificate of Good Standing from the lawyer's home jurisdiction and a Certificate of Insurance confirming coverage of at least $1,000,000.00. Further information may be obtained directly from the Barreau du Québec. (AM. 18-11-08)
2. Are there any limitations on temporary mobility under the NMA?
Yes. You may practise law on a temporary basis for not more than 100 days in a calendar year. Day is defined to include any part of a day. The onus is on you to keep a record of the days on which you practise law on a temporary basis in the other jurisdiction (called the host jurisdiction) or with respect to the law of the host jurisdiction. The host law society may require you to provide proof of compliance with the rules including proof of the number of days that you practised law on a temporary basis in that jurisdiction.
3. Is it possible to extend the 100 days?
Yes, with the permission of the host law society. You must apply to that law society for an extension before the end of the 100 days.
4. Don't I need to check-in with the host law society or get a permit?
There is no check-in required. A permit is not required if you have a practising certificate, professional liability insurance coverage (if required by the Law Society of Manitoba) reimbursement claims fund coverage and no discipline convictions, pending criminal proceedings, or conditions or restrictions on your practice. If you do not meet all these criteria then you must apply for a permit.
5. What does practising law in another jurisdiction mean?
You will be considered to be practising law in a host jurisdiction if:
- you perform professional services for others as a lawyer with respect to or relying on the laws of the host jurisdiction or the laws of Canada applicable to the host jurisdiction; or
- you give legal advice with respect to the laws of the host jurisdiction or the laws of Canada applicable to the host jurisdiction from any location.
This means that you could be practising law in a host jurisdiction whether or not you are physically in the province. For example, if you are giving legal advice with respect to the laws of the host jurisdiction on the telephone, by email or through correspondence from a province outside of the host jurisdiction you are considered to be practising law in that jurisdiction. You must therefore keep track of all these activities.
It also means that you are practising law in a host jurisdiction if you do so with respect to the laws of Canada applicable to the host jurisdiction. For example, lawyers in the employ of the Government of Canada who perform professional services as a lawyer or give legal advice with respect to or relying on the laws of Canada applicable to a host jurisdiction will be subject to the mobility rules.
Lawyers who practise law on a temporary basis for a single employer (corporate counsel) will also be considered to be practising law for the purposes of the mobility rules.
You will not be considered to be practising law in a host jurisdiction for the purposes of the mobility rules if you are performing professional services or giving advice solely on the law of Manitoba.
6. What does it mean to establish an economic nexus with a host jurisdiction?
An economic nexus with a host jurisdiction is established if, while practising law in the host jurisdiction, you do something that is inconsistent with practising law on a temporary basis. If this kind of connection is established, you must cease practising law immediately, but may apply to transfer to the host jurisdiction.
You will establish an economic nexus with a host jurisdiction if you:
- practise law in a host jurisdiction for more than 100 days;
- open an office in the host jurisdiction from which you practise law;
- open or operate a trust account at a financial institution located in the host jurisdiction;
- hold yourself out as willing or qualified to practise law in a host jurisdiction, except as a visiting lawyer;
- become resident in a host jurisdiction;
- act in any manner inconsistent with practising law in a host jurisdiction only on a temporary basis.
7. What happens if I establish an economic nexus with a host jurisdiction?
You are no longer eligible to practise law on a temporary basis in the host jurisdiction and must cease doing so immediately. You may, however, apply to become a member of the Law Society in the host jurisdiction. You may also, apply for a permit extending the number of days in which you may practise on a temporary basis in the host jurisdiction pending the approval of your transfer application.
8. While I am practising law in a host jurisdiction on a temporary basis can I receive money in trust for a client?
If you are permitted to practise law in a host jurisdiction on a temporary basis you may receive money in trust for a client provided that you deposit the money into your Manitoba trust account or you deposit the money into a trust account that is operated and controlled by a practising lawyer in the host jurisdiction.
9. Are there restrictions on advertising when I am practising law on a temporary basis?
Yes. You must not hold yourself out to be qualified or willing to practise law in a host jurisdiction except on a temporary basis. Any communications including letterhead, business cards or marketing efforts must conform to this restriction. You can comply with this by clearly identifying the governing bodies in which you are entitled to practise law.
10. How will third parties know I have the right to practise on a temporary basis in a host jurisdiction without a permit?
A national database is in operation that allows law societies to determine whether a lawyer is eligible to practise law in a host jurisdiction on a temporary basis without a permit. A third party wishing to make inquiries about a lawyer can contact the Law Society in the host jurisdiction.
11. While I am practising law in a host jurisdiction on a temporary basis am I subject to that Law Society's governing legislation?
The Legal Profession Act, rules and Code of Professional Conduct in place in the host jurisdiction apply to you with necessary modifications.
12. If an allegation of misconduct or incompetence is made against me with respect to my practise of law in a host jurisdiction on a temporary basis what law society has jurisdiction over the matter?
The Law Society of Manitoba will usually deal with the matter, in consultation with and with the co-operation of the host jurisdiction. The host jurisdiction may take over the matter if the Law Society of Manitoba agrees. The primary considerations in making that decision will be public interest, convenience and cost.
13. If I have calls in more than one jurisdiction do I need to maintain active practising status in all of them?
This will depend on your particular circumstances. If you have not established an economic nexus with more than one jurisdiction then you may wish to consider relying solely on the practising certificate of your home jurisdiction to allow you to practise on a temporary basis in others.
14. If I am required to maintain several calls do I also have to purchase insurance in each jurisdiction?
No. You will only be required to purchase insurance in the jurisdiction where you maintain your primary practice. The other jurisdictions will accept a Certificate of Insurance in lieu of your purchasing their coverage.
15. What else do I need to know?
- You should review the legislation in place in a host jurisdiction
relating to the commission of affidavits and the witnessing of
documents as a Notary Public. You may not be entitled to sign as a
Commissioner for Oaths or a Notary Public in a host jurisdiction
relying on your Manitoba appointments;
- Check to see if you can be a solicitor of record in a host
- If you can be a solicitor of record, be aware that the
definition of day for counting your 100 days of temporary practice does
not include the number of days you are solicitor of record; and
- Find out whether you can get after hours access to the
Courthouse libraries in the host jurisdiction. Many of the larger
centres will likely allow you access, but you will likely have to
produce your Law Society of Manitoba membership card to security on
- The provisions of the National Mobility Agreement only
determine whether an individual lawyer is eligible for mobility. The
NMA does not deal with the business forms through which lawyers
practise. If you practise through a law corporation or as a partner in
a limited liability partnership, it is your responsibility to determine
whether your practise form, and any benefits of practising through it,
are portable to another jurisdiction. It may be necessary for you to
practise outside of your law corporation or limited liability
partnerships for the purposes of practising in another Canadian
jurisdiction (or host jurisdiction) on either a temporary or permanent
basis. Some things for you to consider are as follows:
- Does the host jurisdiction permit lawyers to practise through professional corporations or as partners in a LLP, and if not how must you structure your practice in that jurisdiction?
- If you practise through a law corporation and you intend to register it as an extra-provincial law corporation, does the corporate name and share structure comply with the requirements for professional corporations in the host jurisdiction?
- If you practise as a partner in a limited liability partnership (LLP) must you register the partnership as an extra-provincial LLP in the host jurisdiction? If you are required to do so and intend to set up a law office in the host jurisdiction, do you comply with the Rules in place in that jurisdiction for setting up an inter-jurisdictional law firm?
- If you practise as a partner in a LLP that is not registered as an extra-provincial LLP in the host jurisdiction, must you structure and market your practise in the host jurisdiction so as not to hold yourself out as acting as a partner of a LLP registered in the host jurisdiction and have your partners considered that they may have the potential liability of an ordinary partnership with respect to your practise in the host jurisdiction?
The Law Society of Manitoba
The Law Society of British Columbia
The Law Society of Alberta
The Law Society of Saskatchewan
The Law Society of Upper Canada
The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
The Law Society of Newfoundland
The Law Society of New Brunswick