Unauthorized Practice of Law by Licensees

Published on 11 March, 2020 - Professional Standards Manual
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Although a licensee must apply his or her legal knowledge when advising a client, the licensee must not give legal advice to the client. If a client asks questions about the specific legal implications of particular terms or conditions, the licensee should explain that a licensee may not give legal advice and should encourage the client to consult a lawyer familiar with real estate matters.

For example, licensees who are drafting complex sales documents (for example, in the sale of a business or in the sale of a condominium requiring extensive remediation work), giving advice to sellers or buyers as to how to structure a transaction, or expressing an opinion as to the sufficiency of the terms of a Contract of Purchase and Sale to the buyer or seller, may be giving legal advice, and therefore, practising law contrary to sections 1(1) and 15 of the Legal Profession Act  — will open in a new tab.

Licensees should ensure that the parties to a complex transaction are advised to obtain legal or the appropriate professional advice and the licensee should not be placed in a situation where he or she is giving legal advice or drafting documents beyond the licensee’s expertise.