Canadian Law Societies Sign New Mobility Agreement

(Posted on March 25, 2010)

Canada’s law societies have taken another major step in the implementation of national mobility for members of the legal profession with the formal signing of the landmark Quebec Mobility Agreement (QMA).

“What was begun in 2002 with the signing of the National Mobility Agreement among the common law provinces is now completed, with an agreement by the law societies in common law jurisdictions to open their doors to members of the Barreau du Québec” John Campion, the President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, said during the signing ceremony.

The Quebec Mobility Agreement extends the scope of the National Mobility Agreement (NMA) by facilitating reciprocal permanent mobility between the common law jurisdictions and the civil law jurisdiction in Québec. The Quebec Mobility Agreement establishes the framework for recognition of members of the Barreau du Quebec as “Canadian Legal Advisors” in Canadian common law jurisdictions. Lawyers from the Canadian common law jurisdictions have been eligible for equivalent membership in the Barreau du Québec as Canadian Legal Advisors since June 2008.

Each law society in common law Canada will now adopt the appropriate rules to give effect to the Agreement, a process that is already underway in a number of jurisdictions.

The Federation President also announced that an initiative was underway to extend similar mobility rights to members of the Chambre des notaires du Quebec, the regulatory body for the 3,500 notaries in the province.

With the regulation of the legal profession in Canada a matter of provincial jurisdiction, Mr. Campion noted, implementing initiatives at the national level such as enhanced mobility for the profession is no easy task. “Each initiative must take into consideration the unique requirements of each jurisdiction. The success of the mobility initiatives shows how all law societies in Canada have worked together in the public interest. In this case, it represents more options for the consumer in accessing the legal system.”