TORONTO, Oct. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - The Law Society's governing body today approved its 2015 budget, which maintains the annual fee for lawyers and paralegals at 2014 levels. The fees will remain at $1,866 for practising lawyers and $996 for practising paralegals.
"In delivering the Law Society's budget for next year, we have exercised fiscal restraint and kept our focus on the organization's core responsibilities of professional regulation, professional development and competence, policy development and facilitating access to justice," says Law Society Chief Executive Officer Robert G.W. Lapper, QC.
"Our 2015 budget demonstrates that we are fully engaged in the support of our strategic priorities and have a strong fiscal foundation in place," says Lapper.
In addition to its core mandate of regulating the legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society's priorities for 2011-2015 include facilitating access to justice, strengthening professional competence and regulation, supporting equity and diversity, enhancing the tribunal, and studying alternative business structures.
The primary factors underlying the 2015 budget are:
- growth in the number of lawyers and paralegals
- using fund balances to mitigate annual fee increases and complying with the Convocation-approved fund balance management policies
- incorporating the three-year pilot project that allows lawyer licensing candidates to either article or complete a Law Practice Program, which started in the 2014-15 licensing year.
As part of the development and delivery of Access to Justice initiatives, including the formation of a stakeholder Reference Group, the Law Society will receive a grant of $400,000 from the Law Foundation of Ontario.
"We are holding the line on fees, managing them well and maintaining our three-year rolling budget as set out last year," says Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor. "It takes a significant effort to achieve cost efficiencies, while continuing to deliver our public interest mandate."
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.
SOURCE: The Law Society of Upper Canada
For further information: For additional information, visit the Law Society's website at www.lsuc.on.ca, or please contact: Lisa Hall at 416-947-7625, [email protected], or Denise McCourtie at 416-947-3362, [email protected] Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N6