National Mobility of the Legal Profession

Changing realities and the need to break down interprovincial barriers have led Canada’s law societies to recognize the credentials of members of the legal profession wherever they were initially admitted to practice. National mobility of the legal profession is currently governed by three basic agreements between the law societies:

Members of the profession interested in transferring to another jurisdiction on a permanent or temporary basis should contact the law society of the province or territory where they wish to transfer for complete information.

National Mobility Agreement

The National Mobility Agreement is the blueprint for the mobility regime. The current agreement facilitates temporary and permanent mobility of lawyers between all common law provinces in Canada. Under the agreement lawyers in the common law provinces may practise for up to 100 days a year in any other common law province and can transfer between jurisdictions with ease.

In 2013 law societies agreed on the new  National Mobility Agreement 2013 that will extend the mobility provisions to permit Canadian lawyers to transfer between Quebec and the common law provinces with ease regardless of whether they are trained in Canadian common law or civil law. The agreement will come into effect only once implemented by each law society, and will replace the existing National Mobility Agreement, the Quebec Mobility Agreement, and the Addendum to the Quebec Mobility Agreement.

Territorial Mobility Agreement

The Territorial Mobility Agreement governs permanent mobility to the three northern jurisdictions: the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The Territorial Mobility Agreement 2013, signed in April 2014, imports the provisions of the National Mobility Agreement 2013. The agreement, which will come into force once implemented by each law society, will permit the transfer of lawyers between the territories and Quebec regardless of whether they are trained in Canadian common law or civil law.

Quebec Mobility Agreement and Addendum

Mobility to and from Quebec is currently governed by the Quebec Mobility Agreement and the Addendum to the Quebec Mobility Agreement. These agreements permit lawyers in common law jurisdictions wishing to practise in Quebec, and lawyers and notaries from Quebec wishing to practise in any of the common law jurisdictions, to acquire restricted practise rights. Canadian Legal Advisors are able to practise federal law, the law of their home jurisdiction and public international law.

The National Mobility Agreement 2013 will replace these agreements when it comes into force.