Licensees who enroll in annual pre-authorized payment plan are eligible for
discount of up to $50
TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - The governing body of Ontario's legal professions today approved the 2017 budget, which includes an annual fee increase of $50 for Ontario's practising lawyers and paralegals. After three years of unchanged annual fees, lawyers will see their annual fee increase from $1,866 to $1,916. Annual fees for practising paralegals will increase for the first time in four years — from $996 to $1,046.
The fee increase is a result of growing membership and the expansion of programs to meet the needs of lawyers and paralegals. The 2017 budget also provides resources to continue implementation of the Law Society's Strategic Plan, developed and launched by benchers in 2015 to guide the Law Society's activities for the 2015-19 bencher term.
To avoid the increase, licensees can enroll in the Law Society's Annual Pre-Authorized Payment Plan which will provide a $50 annual fee discount fee, pro-rated by fee category ($25 for those paying 50 per cent of the annual fee and $12.50 for those paying 25 per cent). The plan does not include an administration fee and online enrolment is easy via the member's LSUC Portal.
"We are very pleased to offer an option to keep fees at the same rate they have been in recent years," says Law Society Chief Executive Officer Robert Lapper, QC. "The 2017 budget will enable us to address key strategic priorities and ensure ongoing support of our important regulatory programs in the public interest."
Primary factors influencing the 2017 budget were:
- Growth in the number of Ontario's lawyers and paralegals
- An increase in the Lawyer Compensation Fund grant limit from $150,000 to $500,000
- Continued support for the lawyer licensing process
- Modernizing the lawyer and paralegal database system
- A pro-rated discount of up to $50 for enrolling in the annual pre-authorized payment plan will mitigate the impact of the fee increase
- The use of fund balances to mitigate annual fee increases in compliance with fund balance management policies.
"The 2017 budget will ensure that we can enhance supports to the professions and increase our focus on access to justice, while meeting our core mandate of regulating the legal professions in the public interest," says Law Society Treasurer, Paul Schabas.
The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.
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SOURCE The Law Society of Upper Canada
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