Sep 28, 2020

Is Providing One’s Views Different from Giving Advice?

The Law Society of British Columbia v Sprague, 2017 BCSC 2025 (CanLII)

In Law Society of British Columbia v Sprague, 2017 BCSC 2025 the regulator sought an injunction against Mr. Sprague for practising law. Mr. Sprague argued that he did not provide legal advice. He said that he merely expressed his views on a legal matter. He argued that doing so was protected by the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mr. Sprague also asserted that he was not paid for providing legal advice but only for spending his time with the individuals consulting him. He also indicated that the demand letter he signed on behalf of one person was simply a dictation he transcribed on behalf of the individual.

The Court concluded that it should look at the substance of the interactions and concluded that Mr. Sprague was clearly practising law. The injunction was granted.