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This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.

Approving Authority: President

Original Approval Date: July 14, 2010

Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: n/a

Office of Accountability: President

Administrative Responsibility: University Secretariat


1.00 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the retention of external legal counsel by the university is done in a manner consistent with the university’s best interests, and to ensure that the cost and quality of such services is properly monitored. This policy sets out the criteria, authority, and process for the retention of external legal counsel.


2.00 The policy applies to all legal services retained by the university, including (without limitation) legal services required by ancillary units, the pension plan, and capital projects.



3.00 Normally, external counsel shall be engaged only for those matters which:

  • set a significant precedent in policy or procedure within the university;
  • have a high external profile;
  • may result in substantial liability for the university; and/or
  • are too complex or specialized to be handled internally.


4.00 The following may retain such outside legal counsel of behalf of the university from time to time as s/he deems necessary:

  • Chair of the Board of Governors
  • President and Vice-Chancellor
  • a Vice-President
  • General Counsel


5.00 Any person wishing to retain external legal counsel with respect to any matter shall refer the matter to the General Counsel who shall, in consultation with the person making the request, determine whether the matter meets the criteria outlined in section 3.00.

6.00 All invoices for services rendered shall be submitted by external legal counsel directly to the General Counsel, with a copy to the initiator of the respective service. The General Counsel shall be responsible for verifying and processing invoices for payment.

6.10 The General Counsel may authorize an administrative unit to manage, verify, process, and approve its own legal expenses.

6.20 Expenses associated with legal services retained without the prior approval of the General Counsel shall be charged to the unit responsible.

7.00 The General Counsel is responsible for a periodic review of all procedures respecting the use of legal counsel, including monitoring the status of matters in progress, the selection and performance of counsel, and the level of fees and budgetary provisions.

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