Law Society's 2008 Budget and Annual Fees



    TORONTO, Oct. 26 /CNW/ - The Law Society's governing body approved its
2008 budget with only a 3 per cent increase in lawyers' annual fees. This
means the 2008 total fee for a practising lawyer in Ontario will increase by
$52 to $1,653. The 2008 fee is still 5 per cent lower than the fee in 1998.
    The Law Society's Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Heins, states, "The
2008 budget of $77 million will continue to support the organization's core
responsibilities, including professional regulation, professional development
and competence and policy development."

    In presenting the 2008 budget, Derry Millar, Chair of the Law Society's
Finance Committee, advised Convocation that:


    
    -   In 2008, the budget increase will accommodate Convocation's new
        initiatives and the Society's increasing volumes of activity, while
        maintaining service levels with a moderate increase in the annual
        levy.

    -   New initiatives recently approved by Convocation include the addition
        of non-bencher adjudicators, the development of resources in support
        of sole practitioners and small law firms in Ontario and expansion of
        practice management reviews. The Law Society will also provide
        financial support for the Law Commission of Ontario.

    -   The budget provides for increases to the compensation for Law Society
        employees enabling the Society to keep pace with the compensation
        paid to employees in the Greater Toronto Area.
    

    Mr. Millar also advised Convocation that the 2008 budget supports an
increase in library services to county libraries and CanLII. The levy for
LibraryCo. will increase by $11 to $235.
    The 2008 budget does not include direct costs for the regulation of
paralegals. Paralegal regulation is a new responsibility for the Law Society
in 2007. A separate operating budget for paralegals will be presented to
Convocation in January for the 2008 year. The cost of paralegal regulation
will be sustained by newly licensed paralegals, estimated to number 1,400.
Paralegals are expected to start receiving their licences in early 2008.
    Law students will see their Licensing Process fees increase by $190 to
$2,940 in 2008. The Licensing Process enables candidates to be called to the
Ontario bar and practise law.
    "As Treasurer, I am pleased that we have a sustainable budget that allows
the Law Society to accommodate increasing volumes of activity generated by a
vital membership and by the work we need to do to govern in the public
interest, with a moderate increase in the annual levy," says Gavin MacKenzie,
Law Society Treasurer.





For further information:

For further information: available on the Law Society's website at
www.lsuc.on.ca or by contacting Roy Thomas at (416) 947-7619 or
rthomas@lsuc.on.ca


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