Naming a firm is often one of the first orders of business when opening a new practice or consolidating 2 or more existing practices. The firm name must adhere to rules 8.06 and 8.07 and generally to the restrictions on marketing and advertising.
Rule 8.06 places a prohibition on firm names that are misleading to the public. Similarly, the letterhead used by a firm cannot be misleading to the public.
The possibilities for firm names are set out in rule 8.07. It states that a lawyer who carries on the practice of law shall do so under:
Rule 8.07(2) provides further restrictions in that a firm may not include any language that misrepresents the number of lawyers in a firm and specifically notes that phrases such as “and associates”, “and associate”, “and partners”, “and company” are not permitted when there is only one lawyer in the firm.
In addition, the name of professional law corporations must contain the words “professional law corporation” or the abbreviation “PLC” (paragraph 63.4(1)(d) of the Law Society Act, 1999).
Misleading Firm Names: rule 8.06 (Law Society Rules)
Firm Names and Letterhead: rule 8.07 (Law Society Rules)
Identification of Deceased or Former Members or Students: rule 8.08 (Law Society Rules)
Preferred Areas of Practice: rule 8.10 (Law Society Rules)
Corporate License: paragraph 63.4(1)(d) (Law Society Act, 1999)
Professional Law Corporations: Part III.1 (Law Society Act, 1999)
Marketing: section 4.2 (Code of Professional Conduct)
(Posted: June 12, 2020)