Department of Justice Legal Services

The Legal Services Division is the Government's law office. It is a division of the Nova Scotia Department of Justice and the Minister is also the Attorney General. The Legal Services Division is responsible for the provision of quality legal services to the Government of Nova Scotia. Using our expertise, we help our clients avoid problems and respond to those that cannot be avoided.

Legal Services is separate from the Public Prosecution Service. All prosecutions within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General of Nova Scotia are the responsibility of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Crown Attorneys, responsible to the Director of Public Prosecutions, conduct prosecutions independently of the Attorney General.

Legal Services’ position within government affords us unique advantages: we are readily accessible to the client departments; we cultivate the expertise needed for the business of government and the proper administration of public affairs; we understand the environment in which our clients operate because it is our environment too; we are one law firm with many areas of practice, and we can bring the power of teamwork to any problem.

With more than 70 lawyers and 40 legal and administrative support staff working together to serve the needs of our clients, Legal Services Division is among the largest law firms in Nova Scotia. In 2008, Legal Services Division underwent a renewal process, which saw five large legal teams split into 11 smaller teams. The focus that our teams bring to bear on our clients’ business ensures that our clients receive the highest quality of legal advice and advocacy.

Our client service teams:

Corporate/Commercial
This team serves a variety of corporate departments, including Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Finance, and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. It also provides expert advice regarding corporate and commercial transactions for all of Government.

Family Law/Child Protection/Adult Protection/Maintenance Enforcement (2 teams)
These teams provide litigation representation and advice to child and adult protection agencies, and officials enforcing child support payment orders, as well as to the Department of Justice’s Maintenance Enforcement Program.

Health/Community Services
This team provides legal advice to the Departments of Health and Wellness and Community Services and related agencies.

Justice/Central Agencies
This team provides legal advice to the Department of Justice and other centralized agencies such as Executive Council office, Treasury Board, Office of Policy and Priorities, the Public Service Commission and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Labour, Employment & Human Rights
The Labour/Employment/Human Rights team provides litigation services and advice to all departments of government on labour and employment, human rights and other workplace issues.

Litigation I & II
These teams provide litigation support to all government departments and agencies, on matters including personal injury and property damage claims, construction law, mass tort claims, commercial litigation, statutory appeals, judicial reviews and more. They appear before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia and a host of administrative tribunals and agencies.

Municipal Law/Education
This team provides legal advice to Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and to the Department of Education.

Regulatory Enforcement
This team advises clients which include the Department of Environment, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Department of Natural Resources and the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Resources
This team provides advice to the Departments of Natural Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Energy and Aboriginal Affairs.

In addition to these teams, there are two specialized groups providing assistance to all Government departments with respect to aboriginal issues and legislative and regulatory drafting.