For lawyers looking to hang out their shingle in Nova Scotia, the process has become longer, more involved and, according to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, much better.
Until this year, establishing a new firm in the province required only that lawyers comply with the society’s trust account rules. However, new regulations under the Legal Profession Act introduced a significant development this year: Now, all new law firms in Nova Scotia must be registered before practising law and delivering legal services.
Under the new requirements, the firm’s designated lawyer engages in a six- to eight-week process of meetings and discussions about the nature of their practice, their business structure and management system, relevant practice standards and regulatory obligations, including such critical issues as trust accounts and client identification. “It’s very much a hands-on process. We have a team that meets with lawyers,” says NSBS executive director Tilly Pillay.