Information for lawyers

Tariff & Billing

The legal aid tariff is a regulation setting out the compensation for lawyers who provide services to low-income clients. It sets hourly rates, and also establishes the maximum number of hours that Legal Aid Ontario pays a lawyer for specific types of proceedings.

The legal aid tariff reflects the fees customarily paid by a client of modest means. These fees apply for all legal aid services, except in exceptional cases.

In 2010, the provincial government established a schedule of tariff rate increases from 2010 to 2015.

Legal Aid Ontario also pays lawyers block fees for some of the most common criminal charges.

Tariff Rates

There are four different hourly rates; three depend on a lawyers tier level, which is assessed based on certified years of experience. The fourth is for lawyers whose cases qualify for the Complex Case Rate. Lawyers must be on the Complex Case Rate panel in order to receive this rate.

Revised Tariff Rates

 

Certificates issued on or after:

Rate

Feb 1, 2010

Apr 1, 2010

Apr 1, 2011

Apr 1, 2012

Apr 1, 2013

Apr 1, 2014

Apr 1, 2015

Lawyer Rate Tier 1

$81.44

$85.51

$89.79

$94.28

$98.99

$103.94

$109.14

Lawyer Rate Tier 2

$91.62

$96.20

$101.01

$106.07

$111.37

$116.94

$122.78

Lawyer Rate Tier 3

$101.81

$106.90

$112.24

$117.85

$123.74

$129.93

$136.43

Complex Criminal Case Rate

$120.02

$124.82

$129.81

$135.00

$141.75

$148.84

$161.05

* Due to rounding, some previously published rates have been adjusted by approximately 1 cent (March 2012)


Average hours billed per certificate by area of law by fiscal year

Fiscal year
Civil
Criminal
Family
Immigration
 
Hours
Hours
Hours
Hours

2009/10

11.47

18.08

22.49

17.32

2010/11

12.10

21.52

25.21

17.06

2011/12

11.82

24.46

25.98

16.69

2012/13

11.51

28.10

27.97

17.17

2013/14

11.94

29.63

28.62

18.18

Notes:

  • final billed certificates
  • includes all certificates (Big Case Management, Protocol Case Unit, etc)
  • excludes certificates billed as block
  • per diems only
  • fiscal year represents the date when the most recent account was posted to general ledger

Average days to complete a certificate by area of law by fiscal year

Fiscal year
Civil
Criminal
Family
Immigration
 
Days
Days
Days
Days

2009/10

114.66

162.77

333.40

385.86

2010/11

94.94

167.17

359.63

405.68

2011/12

80.32

148.79

371.31

345.78

2012/13

68.64

148.99

414.33

303.70

2013/14

59.27

155.41

411.12

303.48

Notes:

  • final billed certificates
  • includes all certificates (Big Case Management, Protocol Case Unit, etc)
  • excludes certificates billed as block
  • per diems only
  • fiscal year represents the date when the most recent account was posted to general ledger

Tariff structure for all areas except Northern Ontario

Please note that the tariff hourly rate is based on the issue date of the certificate, while duty counsel rates are based on the service date.

Tier Level

Hourly Rate (all areas except the North)

 

Certificates issued on or after:

 

April 1/11

April 1/12

April 1/13

April 1/14

April 1/15

Tier 1

$89.79

$94.28

$98.99

$103.94

$109.14

Tier 2**

$101.01

$106.07

$111.36

$116.93

$122.78

Tier 3**

$112.24

$117.85

$123.74

$129.93

$136.43

Law Clerk

$26.63

$27.96

$29.36

$30.83

$32.37

Student-at-Law

$53.26

$55.92

$58.72

$61.66

$64.74

Junior Counsel court

N.A.*

N.A.*

N.A.*

N.A.*

N.A.*

Travel Tier 1

$43.00

$43.00

$43.00

$43.00

$43.00

Travel Tier 2

$48.38

$48.38

$48.38

$48.38

$48.38

Travel Tier 3

$53.75

$53.75

$53.75

$53.75

$53.75

Duty Counsel Services

$89.79

$94.28

$98.99

$103.94

$109.14

Duty Counsel Travel

$43.00

$43.00

$43.00

$43.00

$43.00


* Effective February 1, 2010 there is no separate rate for Junior Counsel
** Pursuant to regulation 14.1 and 14.2 as well as 24.1 and 24.2 of Tariff Regulation for Criminal and Civil Matters respectively


Tariff structure for Northern areas

Please note that as of April 1, 2015, the Guaranteed Daily Rate (GDR) is $1,181.96.

The GDR is available only for certain duty counsel and certificate services in one of five designated areas (Cochrane Area 05, Kenora Area 15, Rainy River Area 35, Temiskaming Area 39 and communities served by Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation (NALSC) Area 48). The following chart summarizes the rate increases:

Tier Level

Hourly Rate (Northern areas)

 

Certificates issued on or after:

 

April 1/11

April 1/12

April 1/13

April 1/14

April 1/15

Tier 1

$98.77

$103.71

$108.89

$114.33

$120.05

Tier 2**

$111.12

$116.67

$122.50

$128.63

$135.06

Tier 3**

$123.46

$129.64

$136.11

$142.93

$150.06

Law Clerk

$26.63

$27.96

$29.36

$30.83

$32.37

Student-at-Law

$58.59

$61.51

$64.59

$67.83

$71.21

Junior Counsel court

N.A.*

N.A.*

N.A.*

N.A.*

N.A.*

Travel Tier 1

$47.30

$47.30

$47.30

$47.30

$47.30

Travel Tier 2

$53.21

$53.21

$53.21

$53.21

$53.21

Travel Tier 3

$59.13

$59.13

$59.13

$59.31

$59.13

Duty Counsel Services

$98.77

$103.71

$108.89

$114.33

$120.05

Duty Counsel Travel

$47.30

$47.30

$47.30

$47.30

$47.30

Guaranteed Daily Rate (Certificates & DC)

$972.41

$1,021.03

$1,072.08

$1,125.68

$1,181.96


As a result of the April 1, 2010 tariff increases, there is now only one standard rate for all GDR certificate and duty counsel services provided in the north.


Big Case Management (BCM) Complex Case Rate (CCR)

Hourly rate

Certificates issued on or after

 

April 1/10

April 1/11

April 1/12

April 1/13

April 1/14

April 1/15

Hourly Rate $124.82 $129.81 $135.00 $141.75 $148.84 $161.05

Tariff pre-authorizations

LAO will increase the number of hours for particular proceedings, effective on certificates issued on or after Nov. 26, 2012.
Read more


The Tariff & Billing Handbook

The handbook is a plain language interpretation of policies, procedures, and regulations for legal aid billing and the tariff. It is intended for lawyers (and their staff) already on a legal aid panelduty counsel and/or private bar lawyers. Find out more information about registering for panel membership. The handbook contains a summary of tariff changes that took effect May 9, 2010. This includes:

  • The tariff hourly rate is based on the issue date of the certificate - check the certificate issue date to determine which hourly rate applies
  • Duty counsel rates are based on the service date

Tariff & Billing Handbook:

Tariff and Billing Handbook

For your convenience here are links to specific chapters:

Note: Information on disbursements can now be found in the Disbursements Handbook


Lawyers and Legal Aid Ontario

The certificate and duty counsel programs form a public-private partnership, serving low-income individuals throughout Ontario.

The province, through Legal Aid Ontario, provides funding and other support, while private lawyers contribute to legal aid by accepting the legal aid rates and tariff for legal services provided to clients.


Questions

If you have any questions regarding the legal aid tariff or billing Legal Aid Ontario please contact the Lawyer Service Centre.
  Telephone: 416-979-9934
  Toll free: 1-866-979-9934

Representatives are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


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