Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

October 26, 2007 10:52 ET

Law Society's 2008 Budget and Annual Fees

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2007) - The Law Society's governing body approved its 2008 budget with only a 3 per cent increase in lawyers' annual fees. This means the 2008 total fee for a practising lawyer in Ontario will increase by $52 to $1,653. The 2008 fee is still 5 per cent lower than the fee in 1998.

The Law Society's Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Heins, states, "The 2008 budget of $77 million will continue to support the organization's core responsibilities, including professional regulation, professional development and competence and policy development."

In presenting the 2008 budget, Derry Millar, Chair of the Law Society's Finance Committee, advised Convocation that:

- In 2008, the budget increase will accommodate Convocation's new initiatives and the Society's increasing volumes of activity, while maintaining service levels with a moderate increase in the annual levy.

- New initiatives recently approved by Convocation include the addition of non-bencher adjudicators, the development of resources in support of sole practitioners and small law firms in Ontario and expansion of practice management reviews. The Law Society will also provide financial support for the Law Commission of Ontario.

- The budget provides for increases to the compensation for Law Society employees enabling the Society to keep pace with the compensation paid to employees in the Greater Toronto Area.

Mr. Millar also advised Convocation that the 2008 budget supports an increase in library services to county libraries and CanLII. The levy for LibraryCo. will increase by $11 to $235.

The 2008 budget does not include direct costs for the regulation of paralegals. Paralegal regulation is a new responsibility for the Law Society in 2007. A separate operating budget for paralegals will be presented to Convocation in January for the 2008 year. The cost of paralegal regulation will be sustained by newly licensed paralegals, estimated to number 1,400. Paralegals are expected to start receiving their licences in early 2008.

Law students will see their Licensing Process fees increase by $190 to $2,940 in 2008. The Licensing Process enables candidates to be called to the Ontario bar and practise law.

"As Treasurer, I am pleased that we have a sustainable budget that allows the Law Society to accommodate increasing volumes of activity generated by a vital membership and by the work we need to do to govern in the public interest, with a moderate increase in the annual levy," says Gavin MacKenzie, Law Society Treasurer.

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