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Innovating Regulation: Collaboration on the Prairies

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Driven by new technologies, new business models and access to justice concerns, the regulation of legal services is evolving around the world. Over the past number of years, we have seen significant regulatory changes in Australia, England and Wales. The new regulatory approaches have generated interest in Canada, as reflected in the recommendations of the Canadian Bar Association’s Futures Report. In an effort to proactively improve how we govern in the public interest, the Law Societies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have decided to pool resources and work collaboratively to examine a spectrum of regulatory tools and approaches including entity regulation, compliance-based regulation, and alternative business structures. 

A discussion paper and accompanying abstract co-authored by representatives from each of the prairie law societies represents an early step in both understanding and assessing the regulatory options that are available. We encourage you to read these materials. 

Concurrently in Manitoba the President’s Special Committee on Entity Regulation is taking a very careful look at how the Society should regulate law firms in the future as part of its mandate to protect the public interest. 

These new approaches to regulation do not necessarily mean more regulation, but a different approach to regulation that is more proactive. They can also mean increased flexibility and opportunity for the profession in the delivery of legal services. We would be happy to hear from you about these exciting initiatives. 

Stay tuned for further information about how we may govern more proactively and how the profession and the public may benefit from new and innovative regulatory approaches.

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