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The National Mobility Agreement

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Can I claim exemption in Ontario based upon the mobility exemption if I am also a member of the Barreau du Quebec?

Quebec is not a reciprocating jurisdiction under the National Mobility Agreement for the purposes of mobility exemption (g) due to the differences in the legal systems.

If you are called as a lawyer in Quebec or acting as a Special Canadian Legal Advisor member of the Chambre des Notaires du Québec, and you are called in more than one reciprocating jurisdiction, then you may be eligible for exemption if you are “deemed resident” as defined in the Exemption Eligibility Rules) in a reciprocating jurisdiction. You must also demonstrates proof of coverage for the practice of law in Ontario under the mandatory professional liability insurance program for the reciprocating jurisdiction.

I am an Ontario lawyer and am representing a client in another province that will take several months to resolve. Will I have coverage, and if so, which jurisdiction’s coverage is in effect?

The National Mobility Agreement enables lawyers to practise in another signatory jurisdiction for up to 100 days in a calendar year, provided they meet all requirements of the Agreement pertaining to their status with the Law Society of their home jurisdiction (i.e. they are entitled to practise law without restriction in a signatory common law jurisdiction, have liability insurance and defalcation coverage, are not subject to criminal or disciplinary proceedings and have no discipline record). Signatory jurisdictions are Canadian jurisdictions other than Ontario or Quebec.

Provided that the proceeding requires no more than 100 days of your participation, you will be able to continue to act as legal counsel to your client on this matter. You do not have to notify anyone of your intention to do so, and you will have insurance coverage for the services you provide. Since your home jurisdiction is Ontario, your mobility services in another signatory jurisdiction are insured under the LAWPRO policy.

If a claim arises out of these services you provided, report the claim to LAWPRO.

If I move my law practice permanently to another province, but wish to remain a member of the Ontario bar, do I have to maintain my insurance in both jurisdictions and whom do I need to notify? If a claim arises out of professional services I provided in the past in Ontario, which law society program covers me?

You must maintain coverage in the mobility jurisdiction in which you are practising and resident.

The Law Society of Ontario exemption criteria allows an Ontario lawyer who plans to take up residency in another signatory jurisdiction and practise there, to apply for exemption under the Ontario program. The principal criterion is where you are resident, the assumption being that you will practise and maintain insurance coverage in the jurisdiction where you are resident. Signatory jurisdictions are Canadian jurisdictions other than Ontario or Quebec.

Provided you meet the following conditions, you will can exempt yourself from paying the Ontario insurance premium but will be able to maintain your Law Society of Ontario membership:

  • You are resident in another signatory jurisdiction;
  • You are a member of the bar in your resident jurisdiction;
  • You maintain the mandatory professional liability insurance coverage in your resident jurisdiction.
  • If a claim arises out of your practice outside of Ontarioe, it is your resident jurisdiction policy that will respond.

The Ontario program will provide you with protection for claims that subsequently arise out of your earlier practice in Ontario. You would have coverage of $1 million per CLAIM / $2 million in the aggregate if practising, and $250,000 per CLAIM and in the aggregate Run-Off Coverage if not in practice.

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