Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

October 29, 2009 15:46 ET

Law Society of Upper Canada: Strong Fiscal Management Supports Expanded Programs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2009) - The governing body of the Law Society of Upper Canada today approved a 2010 budget that strengthens its regulatory processes and maintains supports to the profession, including the popular Parental Leave Assistance Program. The budget provides for a modest increase of $33 to the annual fee for both lawyers and paralegals.

"We are pleased to keep the annual fee increase for 2010 to a minimum, while continuing to support our core responsibilities and strengthening our commitment to quality assurance by increasing the frequency of our Spot Audits and Practice Reviews," says the Law Society's Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Heins. "With a moderate $33 increase, we are still able to enhance services yet maintain an annual fee that is 2.6% lower than the annual fee for lawyers in 2001. The Law Society is in a strong financial position, thanks to our conservative fiscal management over the last decade."

Highlights of the 2010 budgets for lawyers and paralegals are as follows:

- Additional $1,355,000 to support expanded Spot Audit and Practice Review programs.

- Increase of $623,000 in the Professional Regulation lawyer budget primarily due to the rise in the volume and complexity of complaints.

- $733,000 from 2009 paralegal budget carried over to cover ongoing good character hearings for grandparent applicants.

- Savings of $188,000 due to reduction in the number of Convocation and Committee days.

- Total of $540,000 dedicated to the Parental Leave Assistance Program for sole and small firm lawyers.

- Lawyer licensing process fees of $2,400 remain unchanged.

- Paralegal licensing process fees of $1,075 remain unchanged.

"The Society's focus continues to be on maintaining and enhancing programs that support effective governance in the interest of the public," says Law Society Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar. "The Law Society has diligently managed its resources over 2009 despite volatile economic conditions such that our 2010 budget is realistic and sustainable."

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.

For additional information, see the fact sheet available at http://www.lsuc.on.ca/media/convoct09_budgetfactsheet.pdf.

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