LAO in Brief

Reminder: Applying for a tier level increase

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lawyers who take on legal aid work are eligible to apply for a tier level increase if they satisfy the minimum number of years of experience. When applying for a tier level increase, please keep in mind the following:

  • Legal Aid Ontario does not automatically increase your tier level. You are responsible for applying for an increase when you have satisfied the requirements;
  • Tier increases always take place on the first day of the month following approval of the application;
  • Increases are not paid retroactively;
  • Fees are not increased for students-at-law, law clerks, paralegals or duty counsel;
  • For Canadian legal experience gained outside of Ontario, LAO calculates entitlement to a higher level of compensation by including all criminal law experience and one half of one's civil litigation experience;
  • The experience level of the lawyer acknowledging the certificate applies only to work personally performed by that lawyer.

You are required to bill separately for all hourly services up to the date before your tier level increase. This includes all services on certificates you acknowledged plus services that you billed as an agent for other lawyers in your firm. After the tier level increase comes into effect, you may only then submit a second account for services. Tier level increases do not apply to block fee accounts as block fee rates are not tiered.

To apply for a tier level increase, please complete the application for tier level increase located on our website and fax the completed document to: 416-979-1718.