New Real Estate Guidelines and Fee Schedule praised as an important step toward improved service during real estate transactions

    TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - Residential Real Estate Transaction
Guidelinesrecently adopted by the Law Society of Upper Canada represent an
important step forward for real estate lawyers and the public they serve, says
the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate.
    Both the Guidelines, and a new Suggested Fee Schedule, embody a common
principle: that good communication between lawyer and client is paramount.
    "Discussion of the type of legal work needed, and what it costs, means
there are no surprises for the client or the lawyer," says Clare Brunetta,
co-chair of the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate, an umbrella group of
real estate lawyers and law associations. "Better informed clients and better
instructed lawyers make for happier deals all around."
    The Residential Real Estate Transaction Guidelines adopted by the Law
Society of Upper Canada earlier this year (details on the new guidelines are
available online at based
on six principles, first enunciated by the Working Group, that should apply to
lawyers practising in the real estate field.
    The Guidelines provide insights on many evolving practice issues, like
the prudent use of title insurance, and represent the first broad updating of
residential real estate practice standards since the mid-1990s.
    A Suggested Fee Schedule, to complement the Guidelines, has been posted
by the Working Group at
    "The Suggested Fee Schedule is a necessary and helpful corollary to the
Guidelines," says Ray Leclair, co-chair of the Working Group. "The Guidelines
represent an excellent way to deliver legal services for real estate deals.
Value-added legal representation can only be had if there is fair and adequate
compensation for the work."

    About the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate
    The Working Group comprises representatives from the County and District
Law Presidents Association ("CDLPA"), the Ontario Bar Association ("OBA") and
the Ontario Real Estate Lawyers Association ("ORELA"). It was originally
formed to deal with initiatives instituted by several mortgage lenders to
outsource back office mortgage operations to large corporate intermediaries.
These initiatives placed the third party intermediary between the financial
institution and the lawyer. As the Working Group began its dialogue with the
profession, it became evident that it needed to expand its work to deal not
only with the lawyer's relationship with mortgage lenders but their
relationship with consumer clients and other entities involved in a real
estate transaction, with a particular view to reinforcing and re-establishing
the lawyer as a real estate professional and "quarter back" of the

For further information:

For further information: Clare Brunetta, Co-chair, Fort Frances, T:
(807) 275-9975, E:; Raymond G. Leclair, Co-chair, Ottawa,
T: (613) 591-0594 ext. 2758, E:

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