Operations during COVID-19
Protecting Clients and Staff
We take the protection of clients and our whole team very seriously. We also know that people require legal and corporate services to deal with emergency situations and significant financial transactions. With regards to our work spaces, we have implemented the following measures and protocols to reduce the risk to everyone, whilst ensuring client legal needs remain protected. We implemented the following:
• Clients are asked to bring their own pens to meetings;
• Hand sanitizer is available to clients and staff;
• Disinfecting surfaces such as desks, door handles and bathrooms;
• Using disposable gloves for handling client ID (which we are happy to sterilize while they meet with our staff;
• With the exception of meeting with clients to sign documents, our notaries and commissioners are fully able, prepared and equipped to work remotely to ensure client matters are addressed when needed;
• Encouraging client meetings by phone or videoconferencing where possible; and
• Our team washes hands and use sanitizers between all meetings and frequently throughout the day.
An important note: The current situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid one. We expect changes to legislation to occur quickly. We shall update this list as frequently as possible. This page includes basic information and is not intended to be legal advice.
Corporate Legal Issues
In Alberta, under section 131 of the Business Corporations Act of Alberta (for provincial corporations) and under section 132 of the Canada Business Corporations Act (for federal corporations), shareholder meetings may be held via electronic means or telephone. Therefore, if necessary, a previously scheduled meeting may be held in this manner. Further, in emergency situations requiring immediate shareholder voting, a resolution signed by all shareholders is equally valid as if passed at a shareholders’ meeting. This is true regardless of quorum or giving proper notice as all shareholders sign the resolution thus demonstrating agreement.
Similar to shareholders’ meetings, under section 114 of the Business Corporations Act of Alberta (for provincial corporations) and under section 114 of the Canada Business Corporations Act (for federal corporations), meetings of the directors may be held by telephone or other electronic means. In addition, a resolution signed by all directors is equally valid as one passed at a directors’ meeting called with proper notice and quorum.
Remote Commissioning of Affidavits for Use in Civil and Family Proceedings
With the approval of the Law Society of Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta allows for the remote commissioning or notarisation of affidavits to be used in civil and family proceedings where it is not possible or is unsafe for the deponent to physically attend before a commissioner or notary. A specific procedure for the remote commissioning or notarisation of affidavits has been distributed to our staff.
Email Filing of Court Documents
Effective 24 March 2020, law firms and lawyers with existing fax filing accounts are now permitted to file court documents via fax or email. Our office will utilise fax and email filing where possible. This will help to limit the number of people attending courthouses throughout the province and to allow lawyers and notaries to better manage remote working arrangements.
Court Hearings and Matters
At this time, both the provincial court and Court of Queen’s Bench are limiting hearings and matters to those that are urgent or an emergency in nature. As the circumstances are changing quickly, additional information may be obtained by contacting our office or the judicial centre of your court matter.