The Advisory: Volume 10, Issue 2, April 2012

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Agreement Extends Mobility to Members of the Chambres des notaires du Québec

An addendum to the Québec Mobility Agreement was recently approved by the Benchers to extend mobility rights to members of the Chambres des notaires du Québec.

This now extends the scope of the national mobility agreement by facilitating reciprocal permanent mobility between the common law jurisdictions and the Chambres des notaires. The inclusion of the Chambre within the national mobility agreement now completes the mobility framework for all members of the Federation.

National mobility of the legal profession in Canada is governed by three agreements:

  1. The National Mobility Agreement, signed in 2002;
  2. The Territorial Mobility Agreement, signed in 2006 and extended in 2011, includes the three territories in the mobility regime; and
  3. The Québec Mobility Agreement, signed in 2010, extended the scope of the Agreement to include the Barreau du Québec.

The Chambre regulates the activities of notaires in Québec. Québec notaires are very different from and should not be confused with notaries public in common law jurisdictions in Canada.

The Québec legal profession is comprised of two branches with equal status: “Avocats” (advocates) are members of and are governed by the Barreau, and “notaries” (notaries) are members of and are governed by the Chambre. Notaries in Québec receive a full legal education, an additional year of education (master’s degree in notarial law or notarial diploma), and they intern (akin to articling) before being admitted to the profession.

Québec notaries may act in all areas of the law except litigation and advocacy, although they work primarily in areas requiring notarial deeds and instruments. In Québec, mortgages must be drafted by notaries, and the conveyancing of real estate and related legal services constitute over half of total notarial activities.

The drafting of wills and estates and succession planning also form a significant area of practice for notaries. The establishment, sale or purchase of a business; the constitution, amalgamation (merger) or reorganization of a company; commercial financing; and trademarks are the daily bread and butter of all notaries practising commercial law.

Many notaries have developed expertise in various new legal sectors such as international private law, international adoption, maritime mortgage, intellectual property (copyright), telecommunications law, family and commercial mediation and arbitration, etc.

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