Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a "Legal Agent"?
- Who appoints Legal Agents?
- How is the decision to outsource work to Legal Agents made?
- How can I register to become a Legal Agent?
- If I have already registered my interest with Justice, do I need to register it again?
- Once I have registered, can I expect to receive work from the Department of Justice Canada?
- If I am a member of a law firm or “étude de notaires” , can I express interest on an individual basis?
- Is this process restricted to lawyers?
A1. A Legal Agent is a private sector law practitioner appointed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to provide legal services to federal government departments, agencies and relevant crown corporations. “Law practitioners” include law firms and lawyers, “études de notaires” and notaries in the Province of Quebec, retired judges and law professors.
A2. The Government Contracts Regulations stipulate that contracts for the performance of legal services may be entered into only by or under the authority of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and not by any other Minister of the Crown. The Minister of Justice has the ultimate authority for appointing Legal Agents.
A3. Whether to assign work to an in-house counsel or to outsource it to a Legal Agent is a Justice management decision made in consultation with the concerned government department, agency or crown corporation. The decision is based on such factors as availability of staff lawyers, expertise required, geographical considerations, urgency and conflict of interest issues.
A4. For complete details on how to register interest to become a Legal Agent of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, refer to the Expression of Interest Process. A Registration Form is available in Adobe portable document format (PDF version, 660 KB, PDF Help), which can be completed and submitted electronically or printed and mailed in.
(You will require, at a minimum, Adobe Reader 7 to complete the form. If you do not already have Adobe Reader 7, on your computer, it is available for free download at http://www.adobe.com/reader/).
If you prefer not to use the attached Registration Form, your response should be concise and organized in conformity with and in the same sequence as the prescribed Form.
A5. Law practitioners having already expressed their interest through this process need not re-submit unless they wish to revise previously submitted information or register interest in additional practice areas. Note that this process does not apply to prosecution work. Information on becoming a Legal Agent of the Director of Public Prosecutions can be found at http://www.ppsc-sppc.gc.ca/eng/aaf-man/index.html.
A6. Not necessarily. Private sector law practitioners that have registered interest, as well as those who have been pre-qualified for an area of expertise or a geographic location, are not guaranteed work with the Department of Justice Canada.
The Expression of Interest (EOI) is a request for information only. The EOI process does not create any obligations for the Department of Justice Canada or the Government of Canada and is not to be construed as binding upon the Department or the Government. The EOI does not imply either a commitment by the Department of Justice Canada to proceed with, continue or complete this or any other similar process. The Department of Justice reserves the right to reject any or all submissions received in response to the EOI. The EOI is not a request for or an authorization to perform any work. The EOI does not create any exclusive arrangement between the Department of Justice Canada and any law practitioner. All costs incurred in registering interest are borne by the applicant.
In addition, registered law practitioners must be willing to have their knowledge, skills and service motivation assessed by the Department’s officials. Assessments are not conducted at the time of registration but as dictated by operational needs. Assessments are conducted on invitation to registered law practitioners in the context of broad pre-qualification processes in specific areas of expertise or geographic locations where there are recurring needs. They may also be made on a case-by-case basis, in the context of specific and immediate file or work requirements. In either event, invited law practitioners are required to provide more detailed submissions in light of specific work requirements to be assessed and qualified by the Department. Should they ultimately be selected and appointed as Legal Agents, they will be required to submit to the Department’s contracting requirements.
A7. No. Only one expression of interest should be submitted per law firm or “étude de notaires”. Law firms and “études de notaires” are required to identify an individual to act as the principal contact throughout the EOI process and should further follow-up be required. Law firms and “études de notaires” with multiple offices and locations may coordinate their submission through one office and with one central point of contact.
A8. No. “Legal Agent” is the term used by the Department to describe the status of those private sector law practitioners retained to provide legal services and to act on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. “Law practitioners” include not only law firms and lawyers, but also “études de notaires” and notaries in the Province of Quebec, retired judges and law professors.
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