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What is a representative?

A representative officially speaks for a participant during the CRT process. They also submit the participant’s evidence and arguments, and can make agreements for them. A representative is usually a lawyer, family member or friend.

Even if you have a representative, you still have to attend all tribunal proceedings, or your representative must keep you fully informed and give you a chance to give them direct input.

If you need unofficial help like translating, organizing documents, or emotional support, you might want to have a helper instead. You don’t need to ask the CRT for permission to have a helper. Learn more about helpers.

Who can have a representative?

  • For intimate image claims, there are special rules about representatives. See our Intimate Images FAQs for details.
  • For most vehicle accident claims, you don’t need the CRT’s permission to have a lawyer represent you. If your representative isn’t a lawyer, for example a family member or friend, you must ask the CRT for permission. In some cases, an insurance company can be a representative. See the CRT Rules for details.
  • For all other CRT claims, you usually need the CRT’s permission to have a representative.

How do I ask for permission to have a representative?

Our claim application and response forms ask if you want to have a representative. Follow the instructions in the form. The CRT will review your information and let you know if your representative is allowed.

If you want to ask for a representative after you have submitted your claim application or response, fill out our Representative Request form online, or send it to us by email or mail.

Who can be a representative?

A representative must be at least 19 years old. They can’t act as a witness in a claim. They also can’t be someone who has an interest in the claim that conflicts with the interests of the participant they’re representing.

Can my insurance company represent me?

An insurer who is a participant in a CRT claim, or representing a participant, must act through a director or authorized employee of the insurer, unless we give permission for another person to represent the insurer. When we review the request, we’ll use the same considerations as if someone asked for permission to have a representative (see below).

Can a strata, company, society or organization have a representative?

If they want to have a representative, their contact person must ask the CRT for permission, just like any other participant.

What if a participant is a minor, or an adult with impaired mental capacity?

For most claims, minors (under 19) and adults with impaired mental capacity must be represented by a litigation guardian. They don’t need the CRT’s permission to have this type of representative.

The litigation guardian must be at least 19 years old. They can’t be someone who would directly gain or lose based on the outcome of the claim. A litigation guardian is usually a parent or other legal guardian.

We may refuse to allow a person to act as a litigation guardian, or restrict or remove a previously approved litigation guardian.

The litigation guardian must fill out and send us a Litigation Guardian form.

How does the CRT decide if I can have a representative?

The CRT may consider:

  • The reasons for the request
  • If the other participants in the claim agree, and if not, their reasons for opposing it
  • If allowing the representative will prejudice the other participants
  • If any other participants in the claim have a representative, and if so, is that representative a lawyer or a person supervised by a lawyer
  • The potential impact of a representative on the efficient resolution of the claim
  • If the representative is appropriate
  • If it’s in the interests of justice and fairness to allow the representative request

My representative request was denied. What can I do?

You can ask the CRT again if your situation changes or you have more information to give us.

If you don’t agree with the CRT’s decision, you can ask the BC Supreme Court to review the decision. This is called a “judicial review”. Learn more about a judicial review.