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Alternative Business Structures

Draft regulatory framework for civil society organizations 

Latest Update – January 2019

The Law Society is developing a draft regulatory framework that if adopted would permit lawyers and paralegals to provide legal services through registered, civil society organizations (CSOs), such as charities and not-for-profit organizations — to the clients of those organizations.

Presented by the Law Society’s Alternative Business Structures Working Group, the framework is designed as a way of facilitating access to justice for Ontarians – particularly individuals who may have legal issues, but who have traditionally faced barriers to receiving legal advice from a lawyer or paralegal.

The framework was developed following Convocation’s approval in principle of this policy in September 2017. Full details on the proposed framework are available in the Alternative Business Structures Working Group’s October 2018 report.

On October 25, 2018, the Law Society launched a call for comment on the draft regulatory framework.  The submission period closed January 17, 2019.  The Alternative Business Structures Working Group will present its final report with respect to the draft regulatory framework in the winter or spring of 2019.