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Expression of Interest (EOI) for Legal Agents

Expression of Interest

Deadline extended to Friday, June 30, 2017


The Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis Branch (the “LSPRTA Branch”) of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the “OPC”), represented by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the “Commissioner”) has a requirement for legal agents (“Legal Agents”) to complement our in-house counsel. We have launched previous Expressions of Interest for Legal Agents in the past, and are looking to update the legal agents that the OPC could retain should the need arise.

The LSPRTA Branch provides strategic legal and policy expertise to the OPC on emerging privacy issues in Canada and internationally. It represents the OPC in litigation before the courts and provides advice to the Commissioner on the interpretation and application of the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”). The LSPRTA Branch provides expert legal support to the operational branches of OPC, including the PIPEDA Investigations Branch and the Audit & Review Branch, as well as general legal advice on a variety of corporate matters. The LSPRTA Branch is responsible for monitoring legislative and government program initiatives, analyzing them and advising the OPC on appropriate legal and policy positions to protect and advance privacy rights in Canada. The LSPRTA Branch is headed by Ms. Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General.

The Commissioner has been authorized as a client authority of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada for the purposes of contracting for legal services for the OPC.


To carry out the mandate of the LSPRTA Branch, the OPC relies on in-house counsel as well as private sector lawyers, both domestic and international, referred to as Legal Agents. There are two main categories of Legal Agents:

  • Legal Agents who are retained for a definite period of time to provide general legal advice or conduct general legal work on an as needed basis; and,
  • Legal Agents who are retained to provide services with respect to a specific case or matter within a definite period.

The decision to assign work to an in-house counsel or to outsource work to a Legal Agent is based on factors which include availability of staff lawyers, expertise requirements, geographical considerations, urgency, and conflict of interest issues.

Legal Agents are used to deliver legal services where demand for services exceeds available internal resources and/or expertise. Generally, engagements in respect of the following types of activities are considered to be “legal services”:

  • provision of legal advice and opinions ;
  • conduct of litigation and related work;
  • dispute resolution work;
  • legislative and regulatory drafting;
  • negotiations; and
  • drafting of other legal documents such as contracts, agreements, etc.

The OPC determines the scope of any legal mandate to be conferred and reviews any legal services provided to ensure that it meets the requirements of the OPC.


The OPC invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from interested lawyers or law firms with demonstrated competence and ability to comply with the criteria set out in this EOI, including Schedule A.

This EOI is a request for information only. Through this EOI process, the OPC intends to identify qualified and interested respondents (“Respondents”) to be included on a renewed eligibility list for possible recommendation and consideration for appointment as Legal Agents of the Commissioner.

This EOI does not imply a commitment by the OPC to proceed with, continue or complete this or any other similar process. Nothing in this EOI creates an exclusive arrangement between the OPC and any Respondent. The OPC reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received in response to this EOI.

This EOI is not a request for or an authorization to perform any work. Any costs of replying to this EOI will be at the Respondent’s own expense.

This EOI process also in no way prevents the OPC from entering into contracts for legal services derived from outside this process. The OPC reserves the right to outsource work at its sole discretion.

Interested lawyers or law firms are invited to qualify themselves on the renewed eligibility list, even if they have already been qualified on previous eligibility lists. This current EOI process will not affect or terminate any current contracts with Legal Agents for legal services with respect to any active matter.


The LSPRTA Branch defines as one of its goals to be the effective, efficient and economical delivery of legal services to the OPC as a whole. The LSPRTA Branch relies on in-house counsel as well as legal agents to deliver these services.

The OPC expects its Legal Agents to align themselves with these goals and to commit to devoting their time and resources to best represent the OPC by providing high-quality, cost effective and results-oriented legal services.

The LSPRTA Branch’s legal work gives lawyers the opportunity to apply specialized training, skills and expertise in regard to areas of practice, which are not limited to but include:

  • privacy and access to information law;
  • general civil litigation; and
  • administrative law and judicial review proceedings.


The information provided in your response to this EOI will be used to place your firm on an eligibility list for possible recommendation and consideration for appointment as Legal Agent of the Commissioner and will serve as the foundation for selection as a Legal Agent as dictated by the OPC’s operational needs.

The information provided in your response will help the OPC assess your firm’s eligibility to provide legal services for the OPC with respect to factors such as the following:

  • willingness and ability to devote time and resources to best represent the interests of the OPC;
  • willingness and ability to provide high-quality legal services;
  • ability to provide cost-effective legal services;
  • diversity and range of knowledge and expertise;
  • level of proficiency in each Official Language;
  • potential for conflict of interest; and
  • availability.


It is the OPC’s expectation that all Legal Agents (individually and as members of a team) will have the necessary level of competence, expertise and experience to provide the requested legal services commensurate with the nature and complexity of the legal issue(s) involved. Selection is based on the premise that the OPC expects the highest quality of legal services and advice consistent with the reasonable demands of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

The OPC expects Legal Agents to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. Legal Agents must obey the law, be compliant with federal government policies and must act with integrity, fairness and impartiality at all times. Legal Agents must honour their professional obligations as lawyers, and avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest.

Hourly billing rates for legal services are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the OPC will use the Department of Justice Legal Agent rates of remuneration as stipulated on their website or higher rates as may be reasonable and justifiable. Alternate billing arrangements may be negotiated with Legal Agents, which include flat fees, block billings, lump sum payments, and blended rates.

The OPC expects Legal Agents to be fiscally responsible and follow recommended and cost-conscious file handling practices and comply fully with administrative provisions, billing guidelines and fee and disbursement policies.

Every team member (both counsel and legal assistants for whose work counsel is responsible) is expected to strive to contribute significantly toward excellent results that fully meet the operational requirements of the OPC.

It is the OPC’s expectation that a Respondent expressing an interest in being considered for a Legal Agent appointment, must at a minimum be willing to commit to ensuring:

  • that it carries valid law-practice insurance in the province(s) or territory(ies) in which the Respondent conduct their practice, in compliance with the requirements of the relevant law society(ies) or bar association(s);
  • that it complies with the federal government’s conflict of interest guidelines, which seek to ensure that contracts with the private sector meet the highest ethical standards;
  • that each member of the Respondent’s team providing legal services to the OPC be active members in good standing of a provincial or territorial bar;
  • that each member of the Respondent’s legal team and all members of their staff who will require access to documents relating to work assigned will be in compliance with the security requirements identified in this EOI; and,
  • that it complies with certain technology standards as defined by the OPC and as stipulated in any resulting contract for legal services with the OPC.

The OPC is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. All information submitted pursuant to this EOI process shall become the property of the OPC. All information received pursuant to this EOI will be held in confidence, subject to any applicable disclosure provisions of the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, or other applicable legislation.

In accordance with the Government Security Policy (“GSP”), all individuals who require access to sensitive federal government information and/or assets must have, at a minimum, a Reliability Status type security screening. All authorized counsel as well as members of their staff who will require access to OPC files must therefore have, at a minimum, a Reliability Status type security screening. In certain circumstances or for special cases where access to classified government information or assets will be required, Legal Agents and relevant members of their staff will require a higher level Security Clearance prior to being permitted such access.

Records created during the conduct of assigned legal work are the property of the OPC. In accordance with the GSP, OPC file records must be properly secured at all times and they must only be accessible to personnel with the appropriate federal government security screening and/or security clearance.

Security requirements are defined on a case-by-case basis. The OPC will provide direction and facilitate the required clearance application(s) for selected Legal Agents. Legal Agents must commit to ensuring compliance and cooperating fully with screening processes and procedures, and, obligations pertaining to the maintenance of active files and the return of closed files. Security requirements as well as supporting instructions and procedures may be defined through the contract for services and/or statement of work, as well as through instructions provided by the Instructing counsel during the contract period.

Where applicable, prior to and throughout the appointment as Legal Agent, the OPC may require firms to substantiate compliance with the above key provisions.


To acknowledge your interest in responding to this expression of interest, and to receive further consideration, the following information must be included in your submission. Only one submission per Respondent, whether a law firm or sole practicing lawyer, is required. Respondents with multiple offices and multiple locations must coordinate their submission through one central contact. Correspondence should specify whether the interest being expressed is on behalf of a firm or an individual.

Please include the following information in your submission:

  • Identify the name of your firm (or the individual lawyer’s name) and provide basic contact information;
  • Provide names and contact information of any other team members;
  • Identify the name of an individual who will act as a principal contact throughout the EOI process;
  • Provide resumés of each lawyer who would participate in a potential legal services contract with the OPC, including a description of their relevant experience, qualifications, year of call to the Bar and relevant fields of expertise;
  • Provide a current firm profile if applicable and/or identify related practice area(s) of interest and relevant type(s) of services offered;
  • Provide a list of area(s) of practice and the number of years practicing in that area(s);
  • Specify the language(s) in which services are available;
  • Specify the jurisdictions and geographical locations in which services are provided;
  • Specify the level(s) of court each lawyer has appeared before and the number of years of experience in doing so, i.e. Ontario Superior Court, Ontario Superior Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Canada;
  • Confirm compliance with minimal requirements as identified under Schedule A to this EOI;
  • Provide the proposed billing structure (i.e. flat fees, blended rates or hourly rates for each member of the legal team that will be providing services) and proposed rates.

Note: each contract for services with the OPC will be subject to negotiation of an appropriate fee.


Questions about the content of this document or the EOI process should be submitted to:

MANON HARDY, Legal Counsel or
Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis Branch

Deadline extended to Friday, June 30, 2017

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