Legal Support & Guidance
Legal Services Branch (LSB) ensures that the administration of public affairs is carried out in accordance with the law.
Guide to Services
- Legal Services lawyers can assist clients with drafting and negotiating contracts, as well as interpreting and enforcing contracts.
- All legal services to government respecting civil matters are delivered by LSB lawyers, although there are situations where ad hoc arrangements are made where LSB supervises retainers or contracts with outside counsel.
When to Contact the Branch
Contact the Legal Services Branch when the ministry:
- Receives a court document – such as a Notice of Civil Claim, Petition or a Notice of Application – that indicates court or tribunal proceedings affecting the ministry are now pending (Government needs to respond to such documents immediately. It is vital that the court document received is couriered to the Legal Services Branch Victoria office, to the attention of the Duty Counsel. See LSB's L@w Matters webpage (SharePoint access only available to ministry employees) for delivery location details);
- Receives a request from the RCMP;
- Needs help identifying the appropriate contract form to attach to a solicitation document;
- Is procuring services with a contract value of more than $250,000 or is procuring goods or services that do not work with the standard form of contract approved by the Ministry of Justice (for example, the General Services Agreement templates);
- Is drafting, preparing or executing a contract that is not in the standard form approved by the Ministry of Justice;
- Is procuring goods or services where the vendor may propose its own form of contract or specific contract terms;
- Needs legal advice on issues arising from a solicitation or contract;
- Needs help to interpret a statute;
- Needs advice on whether an action, decision or policy proposed by the ministry is lawful;
- Would like an update on the status of a court case or hearing involving the ministry;
- Receives a subpoena requiring ministry staff to attend court or a tribunal hearing in respect of a matter arising in the course of their employment;
- Needs advice on alternate dispute resolution services or negotiations;
- Needs to confirm whether advice given by Legal Services in the past is still valid and can be applied to a current or changing situation;
- Has a legal question about legislation currently being drafted; or
- Needs advice concerning a proposal for new or amended legislation.
This list is not exhaustive. Ministries are encouraged to contact Legal Services for any legal issue as soon as possible.