Special authorization to practice in Quebec
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Special authorization to practice in Quebec

Special authorization is valid for a specific file until a final decision is rendered, for a maximum of 12 months. If necessary, it can be renewed. Holders of a special authorization do not become members of the Barreau du Québec.

Note Special authorization is reserved for lawyers practicing outside Quebec.

Conditions to obtain special authorization

You must provide the following original documents:

  • the duly completed application for special authorization for persons practicing outside Quebec (s. 42.4 PC);
  • a certificate issued by a competent officer of the Bar of which you are a member, attesting that you are legally authorized to practice law outside Quebec and confirming that you have not been disbarred or that your right to practice law outside Quebec has not been limited or suspended; and
  • a professional liability insurance certificate covering professional services provided in Quebec ($1 million coverage).

How to obtain special authorization

Applications for special authorization are reviewed by the Secretary of the Order, who ensures that the conditions for issuance are met. Applicants who meet these conditions are issued special authorization by the Bâtonnier of Quebec.

It takes at least ten business days to process an application for special authorization. If the application is incomplete, it may take longer. If you need special authorization sooner, you must indicate it in your application so it can be considered urgent.

For litigation files

The Bâtonnier of Quebec may grant special authorization to lawyers if they demonstrate a connection with Quebec (for example, criminal or penal proceedings against a client, damage sustained in Quebec by non-Quebec residents, a rogatory commission). Since this is a special authorization to occasionally practice in Quebec without having to become a member of the Barreau du Québec, you may submit no more than ten applications a year. The Board of Directors has discretion to issue more authorizations if special circumstances warrant.

You must submit a duly completed form for each application.

Note Given the rules of civil procedure and the civil law applicable in certain cases, and to protect the public, the Barreau du Québec may request that lawyers applying for special authorization be assisted by legal counsel who is a member of the Barreau du Québec.

Moreover, for class actions, special authorization is granted only if the following additional conditions are met:

  • a lawyer who is a member of the Barreau du Québec must be on the case; and
  • having a Canadian lawyer on the case is justified given the national scope of the class action (parallel proceedings are filed in other provinces, class includes all Canadians, representation of a defendant company outside Quebec, etc.).
For immigration files

The Bâtonnier of Quebec may issue up to 50 special authorizations per year (including renewals) for immigration files. The Board of Directors has discretion to issue more authorizations if the lawyer in question can demonstrate that the case is connected to Quebec and if special circumstances warrant.

If this is your first application, you must submit the long form for immigration files. For subsequent applications, please use the short form.

Administrative fees

For all litigation files, the administrative fees per calendar year are as follows:

  • 1 to 10 applications=$230 total

Exceptionally, for 11 or more applications=$1,120 total

For all immigration files, the administrative fees per calendar year are as follows:

  • 1 to 10 applications=$230 total
  • 11 to 50 applications=$1,120 total

Exceptionally, more than 51 applications=$2,225 total

The fees are payable online by credit card (Visa or MasterCard).

There is no fee for renewal applications.