Trends in Global and Canadian Lawyer Regulation

Laurel Terry


Globalization and technology have changed the practice of law in dramatic ways. This is true not only in the U.S. and Canada, but around the world. Global regulatory trends have begun to emerge as lawyer regulators have had to respond to new developments. In 2012, Australian regulators Steve Mark and Tahlia Gordon and the author, who is a U.S. academic, documented some of these global trends in lawyer regulation. See Laurel S. Terry, Steve Mark, & Tahlia Gordon, Trends and Challenges in Lawyer Regulation: The Impact of Globalization and Technology, 80 Fordham L. Rev. 2661 (2012), Their article concluded that regulators face issues in common regarding “who” is regulated, “what” is regulated, “when” and “where” regulation occurs, “how” it occurs, and “why” it occurs. The current article examines Canadian lawyer regulation in light of the global trends Terry, Mark, and Gordon previously identified. The current article asks whether there is evidence in Canadian lawyer regulation of these same who-what-when-where-why-and-how issues. The article concludes that these trends are indeed present in Canada and explains why it is important for Canadian lawyers, regulators, clients, and other stakeholders to be aware of these global trends. The article also addresses the issue of whether these trends matter in a jurisdiction such as Saskatchewan that is not a global financial center on the order of New York, London or Toronto. The answer the article provides is “yes” – these trends are relevant to Saskatchewan and to jurisdictions throughout the world that care about lawyer regulation.For a 2019 conference handout that used the who-what-when-where-why-and-how to regulate structure used in this article, see