Law Society Board Approves 2023 Budget Focused on Public Obligations, Transformation and Efficiency

TORONTO, October 27, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, the Law Society of from Ontario the governing body (Convocation) approved the organization’s 2023 budget. This budget marks a return to regular business operations post-pandemic and continues to ensure the Law Society meets its public interest obligations and corporate objectives, while incorporating the ongoing cost savings and process improvements implemented during the pandemic. .

Law Society of Ontario Bilingual Logo (CNW Group/The Law Society of Ontario)

In addition to resuming operational activities impacted by the pandemic, the 2023 budget takes into account a significant increase in claims activity in the Compensation Fund pool of lawyers during the latter part of 2021, continuing throughout 2022, and anticipates continued financial pressures such as market volatility and inflation rates.

“The theme for 2023 is transformation,” said the Law Society’s chief executive Diana Miles. “The organization has achieved significant milestones over the past two years despite a challenging work environment, and this budget continues to support our important regulatory work in the public interest.”

Fiscal years 2020, 2021 and 2022 included substantial decreases in annual royalties for licensees, totaling $388 for lawyers and $160 for paralegals, due to proactive changes in workflows, burden reduction activities and savings resulting from the impacts of the pandemic. Although royalties for licensees increase in 2023, they remain below the annual royalty in 2018, despite inflationary increases. Budget 2023 uses fund balances resulting from pandemic-related savings to mitigate fee increases while ensuring that the Law Society’s operations are not compromised. Attorney fees for 2023 will be $1,981 (of $1,813) and for paralegals will be $1,035 (of $955).

“This budget strikes a good balance between spending on priority goals and putting in place new policies and programs that will move the legal professions forward, while ensuring the organization’s long-term financial stability,” the treasurer said. Jacqueline Horvat.

The 2023 budget includes funding for $9.6 million to support LiRN Inc. and the operation of the system’s 48 county law libraries. The LiRN Network is an integral source of legal information and law library services across Ontario.

The budget expenditures also facilitate various Board-approved initiatives, including the creation of an online Essentials of Practice course that will be mandatory beginning January 2024for licensees within one year of their first installation as a sole practitioner, and implementing experiential training enhancements to foster entry-level skills among licensees.

Additionally, as one of the most iconic sites for the legal profession, Osgoode Hall and its grounds are designated heritage sites and the Law Society is responsible for its preservation. The budget includes essential repairs to the facilities infrastructure, while respecting and maintaining the heritage of the building, in line with a 10-year facility condition assessment completed in 2020. This includes major major repairs and restoration of the south wing of Osgoode Hall, costing approximately $3.8 million.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the CEO Diana Miles; the Law Society’s leadership team; members of the audit and finance committee and chairman of the committee Sidney Troister“, added Horvat. “This budget is forward-thinking and will strengthen our ability to fulfill our mandate to protect the public.”

The report to the Convocation on the 2023 budget is available on line.

The Bar regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society’s mandate is to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for Ontario and to act in a timely, open and effective manner.

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SOURCE The Bar of Ontario

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