Practising Law is Practising Law

In Law Society of Ontario v Leahy, 2018 ONSC 4722, the regulator sought an injunction against Mr. Leahy for practising law. Mr. Leahy did not dispute the facts, but raised a number of legal defences. The Court rejected all of them including the following:

  • The fact that Mr. Leahy initially received authorization to practice from the courts prior to the new regulatory regime requiring a licence to provide legal services did not require the revocation of the original authorization in order to revoke Mr. Leahy’s licence to practice law.
  • Federal paramountcy principles did not authorize the practising of law before a federal tribunal, at least where the federal legislation did not expressly authorize such practice.
  • The exception for individuals providing services to their corporate employer did not allow the corporation to provide legal services to the public.
  • The location of the corporation outside of Ontario did not oust the regulator’s jurisdiction where the clients received services in Ontario.
  • The exception for practitioners of other professions providing services in the scope of that profession has no application where Mr. Leahy was not registered with another profession.

The injunction was granted.

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