Illegal practice of the profession of lawyer

 

     




Protecting the public first and foremost


As part of its primary mission to protect the public, the Bar of Montreal’s mandate includes preventing, controlling and penalizing the illegal practice of the profession of lawyer.

Illegal practice of the profession of lawyer

 
Whoever practises the profession of lawyer without being entered on the Roll of the Order of Advocates or acts in such a manner as to lead to the belief that he/she is authorized to fulfil the office of a lawyer and to act as such is guilty of an offence under the Act respecting the Barreau du Québec and is liable to the penalties provided in section 188 of the Professional Code.

     
 


BEWARE OF FAKE LAWYERS


Before you hire a lawyer, make sure that he or she is a member in good standing of the Barreau du Québec and has a license to practise law. This free and easy verification can save you time, money and most importantly, many problems.

To check whether a person is a member in good standing of the Barreau du Québec and does have the right to exercise the profession of lawyer :

  1. First confirm the identity and contact information of the person whose services you wish to retain.
  2. Validate the information by consulting the Directory of lawyers of the Barreau du Québec, ensuring that the telephone number, e-mail address and professional address provided correspond to those indicated in the Directory.
  3. If you do not find the person's name in the Directory or in case of any doubt, contact Info-Barreau : 514 954-3411 (Montreal area) or 1 844 954-3411 (toll-free) or infobarreau@barreau.qc.ca.
     
 
     

Be careful !


A lawyer must preserve the professional secrecy. In order to achieve this, he or she must use a closed consulting room to ensure the confidentiality of conversations, which must not be heard from outside. If the person asks you to meet in a public place (café, restaurant, shopping mall) or offers to go to your home or workplace for a professional discussion, be suspicious.

A lawyer must hold a trust account to deposit the sums of money he or she requests as advances, for services to be rendered or future expenses. If the person asks you for a cheque or transfer in their name only, without the mention "in trust", be vigilant. If you are making a payment to a company, make sure that the company's name appears under the name of the lawyer in the Directory of lawyers of the Barreau du Québec.

Examples of acts reserved for lawyers


Here are some examples of acts that only a lawyer can perform on behalf of others, which are frequently reported or complained of to the Bar of Montreal, since they are performed by non-lawyers. Notaries can also perform some of these acts for others :

  • to give legal advice and consultations on legal matters (notaries as well);
  • to prepare and draw up a document (notice, motion, proceeding) intended for use in a case before the courts (notaries as well, but only for non-contentious proceedings);
  • to plead or act before any tribunal, with exceptions (see section 128. 2) of an Act respecting the Barreau du Québec for a complete list of exceptions) (notaries as well, but only for non-contentious proceedings);
  • to incorporate a legal person (notaries as well);
  • to make collections or make any claim with costs or to imply that judicial proceedings will be taken.
     
     
 

ATTENTION ! This list is not exhaustive. For a complete list of acts that are the exclusive prerogative of the practising lawyer, please refer to section 128 of an Act respecting the Barreau du Québec. In case of doubt, contact Info-Barreau : 514 954-3411 (Montreal area) or 1 844 954-3411 (toll-free) or infobarreau@barreau.qc.ca.

 
     

 

TO FILE A COMPLAINT