March 26, 2015
When adopted in the practice of law, alternative business structures (ABS) allow for private shareholders and non-lawyers to own majority stakes in law firms.
This article by Angela Comella, Lawyer practicing with Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers and OTLA Member, was originally posted on OTLA's Blog, February 2015
Lawyers throughout Ontario have good reason to want to modernize the legal profession to better serve clients, but there is debate over how this should be done.
What would happen if personal injury law firms throughout Ontario were controlled by large, profit-driven corporations, including insurance companies? Wouldn't increasing the corporations' profits become the primary focus, while the rights and needs of injury victims become secondary? Wouldn't personal injury lawyers lose the independence they require to represent clients against powerful insurance companies?
The debate continues over whether law firms in Ontario should adopt alternative business structures. Because the ABS model allows lawyers to sell shares of their practice to non-lawyers, there is the risk that ABS would place the profit concerns of shareholders over the legal concerns of consumers.
The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) is responsible for regulating lawyers in Ontario. The primary role of the LSUC is to protect the public interest and to facilitate access to justice for consumers.
Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers is proud to announce our involvement in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Ontario's Peer Support Program. This special support program connects families living with spinal cord injury, with trained volunteers who understand and have faced many of the same challenges.
Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers strive to advocate and educate Canadians on important discussions that could potentially influence them, including the question, Will Canadian Law Firms' Business Model Change?
Ontario Trial Lawyers Association: Founded in 1991, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) is an organization of more than 1,450 plaintiff lawyers, law clerks, articling students and law students. OTLA's purpose is to promote access to justice for all Ontarians, preserve and improve the civil justice system, and advocate for the rights of those who have suffered injury and losses as the result of wrongdoing by others, while at the same time advocating strongly for safety initiatives.