Access to Justice and the Ethics and Politics of Alternative Business Structures

91(3) Canadian Bar Review 483, 2012

71 Pages Posted: 16 May 2014  

Richard Devlin

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Ora Morison

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Despite ongoing concern about access to justice in Canada, the problem persists. Meanwhile, the basic model for legal practice in Canada is the same as when the profession first emerged centuries ago in England. Only lawyers can own and control legal practices. This is not the case in other common law jurisdictions where rules have evolved to allow nonlawyers to own the companies that provide legal services. Based on a comparative analysis of the development of these alternative business structures (ABSs) in Australia and the United Kingdom, and the nondevelopment of ABSs in the United States, the authors argue that ABSs may be at least a partial solution to the access to justice problem in Canada. Recent developments indicate ABSs will eventually come to Canada, at which point, the authors argue the legal professional societies will have a crucial role to play in developing appropriate regulation to ensure ABSs improve access to justice.

Keywords: access to justice, alternative business structures

Suggested Citation

Devlin, Richard and Morison, Ora, Access to Justice and the Ethics and Politics of Alternative Business Structures (2012). 91(3) Canadian Bar Review 483, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2437035

Richard Devlin (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Ora Morison

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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