Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

November 24, 2011 15:47 ET

Law Society Budget Introduces Modest Fee Increases for 2012

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2011) - The Law Society's governing body today approved its 2012 budget with modest annual fee increases of 2.2 per cent for lawyers and 2.6 per cent for paralegals. The 2012 fee for a practising lawyer will increase by $41, from $1,785 to $1,826, while the fee for licensed paralegals will increase by $25, from $957 to $982.

"We are pleased that we continue to be able to keep fee increases for lawyers and paralegals to a minimum and maintain financial stability, while we remain committed to delivering and building on essential programs and services that allow us to govern effectively and efficiently in the public interest," says the Law Society's Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Heins.

The annual fee for lawyers in Ontario today is only $3 higher than it was in 2001. The Law Society has added staff primarily in regulatory functions and in those areas concerned with professional development and competence.

"These increases parallel the increase in the number of lawyers practising in Ontario, and reflect the Law Society's ongoing commitment to ensure that the public are well served by competent professionals and protected by an efficient and transparent regulatory system," says Heins.

Highlights of the 2012 budgets for lawyers and paralegals are as follows:

  • Increase of $2.8 million in the Professional Regulation budget primarily due to the continued increase to the number of complaints and discipline hearings.
  • Increased staffing in the Client Service Centre due to increased demand for services and access to justice initiatives.
  • Increase of $1.1 million in the Professional Development and Competence budget, primarily related to the approval and implementation of the continuing professional development requirement (CPD).
  • Lawyer licensing process fees of $2,400 remain unchanged.
  • Paralegal licensing process fees of $1,075 remain unchanged.

"We are pleased to have maintained a strong financial position over the past 11 years, while also strengthening our regulatory processes, implementing comprehensive competence programs, enhancing supports to the profession and increasing our focus on access to justice," says the Law Society's Treasurer Laurie H. Pawlitza.

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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