The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Re-regulating of the legal industry, Cont'd

February 23 2017 23 February 2017

On the topic of re-regulation of the legal profession, Kenneth Grady writes that complaining about the slow pace of reform is a "red herring":

We have what we need to fix the lack of access to civil justice problem. Changing the regulations may make a few things easier and transaction costs could drop. But, the problems we need to solve are independent of the regulatory structure. The barrier to solving the problems is lawyer resistance to change. Fix that problem and changing the regulations will become a side show at best.

Consider this one example. Solo practitioners argue they have a technological disadvantage. The cost of emerging software is beyond their grasp, either in time to implement or money. The professional responsibility rules prohibit law firms from having owners without law licenses. If we re-regulate, the argument goes, these firms can get access to money and resources through new owners. They can use those investments to bridge the technology gap. We already have a solution. Create a technology business (incorporation costs are trivial). Get investments in the second business which acts as a services business to the law firm. Spread the technology firm’s costs across several small firms. This model, or variations of it, exists.

ellion 2/23/2017 3:34:51 PM

Allowing owners who are not lawyers will mean that giant corporations will own the law! I don't want solo practitioners to be elbowed out by a chain of Walmart owned firms. Lawyers should not change those regulations. Technology is not going to solve our access to justice problems. Decentralizing legal services away from cities, increasing legal aid services, and trying to reduce the gap between the wealthy and poor citizens in Canada is the way to go.

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